Why We Care

Where Love Grows’ mission is simple, help end hunger for children and families beginning in our community as we make love grow.

1 in 4 children in our community go to bed hungry each night.  Some children won’t have anything to eat from lunchtime in school on Friday until breakfast Monday morning when they return.  This doesn’t include holidays and summer breaks.

VGT Girls at table

Children who don’t get enough to eat, especially during their first three years, miss out on essential nutrients during this critical time of growth.  They will be dramatically disadvantaged and are more likely to be hospitalized and face higher risks of health conditions like asthma and anemia, developing compromised immune systems.

Children facing hunger struggle in school and beyond.  They are more likely to repeat a grade in elementary school, experience developmental issues with motor skills and language, along with potential behavioral problems.  As they get older, increased crime has been linked to hunger too.  Children who don’t have enough to eat are destined to do worse academically and socially.

Children who face hunger come from families who face hunger too. According to Feeding America,  84% of households served by Feeding  America report buying the cheapest food instead of healthy food in order to provide enough to eat.   25% of children in these households are at risk and may be forced to rely exclusively on hunger relief provided by organizations like Feeding America to make ends meet.    Where Love Grows helps to close the gap through our family dinner night events and cooking programs.  To learn about our impact, please visit our program pages.

Communication and Collaboration
Family dinners and cooking classes would be impossible without teamwork and open lines of communication.  Successful family dinner nights and cooking classes include children working together and communicating to learn about one another and accomplish a common goal.  Students get an opportunity to work directly with their peers and enjoy each other’s company in a non-competitive environment.  Collaboration with our partners plays a large role in the success of our family dinner nights and mobile cooking classes as they volunteer and help through donations.

Find out more about Hillsborough County's Food Insecurity

We are counting on a lot of individuals to do just a little.

“I would rather earn 1% off a 100 people’s efforts than 100% off my own.”
- John D. Rockefeller


In 2019, Where Love Grows Mobile Cooking Program was evaluated by University of S. Florida’s Department of Anthropology, Center for Food Security and Healthy Communities. Led by Dr. David Himmelgreen, through focus groups, class observations and analysis of pre and post mobile cooking program surveys, the USF team was able to provide invaluable data supporting the positive impact we witness each week.  In addition to basic culinary experience, the student’s experienced the following benefits:
  • Math and reading skills improved through recipe management
  • Personal development benefits include improved leadership skills, teamwork efforts and improved self-esteem and confidence
  • 79.7% of the students surveyed eat more vegetables post class.
  • 73% of the students cooked more during the program
  • 88.4% cooked more after completion of the cooking class series
The impact is immediate, sustainable, and beneficial to both the student and his or her family.  Teaching culinary skills through our innovative hands-on classes is a simple process that provides invaluable benefits that helps to break the hunger cycle.

Where Love Grows Inc. is a licensed 501(c)(3) non-profit. FEIN# 46-1566081

Our Partners