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Hanna Boys volunteer in CERES program

Pictured in the Hanna kitchen are Hanna Boys junior Dominic Cancilla, sophomore William Avalos, seniors Ray Nasholm and Nathan Sickler-Evans, community youth volunteer Aliya Blinman, an eighth-grader at Sonoma Charter School, mentor chefs Britt Lee and Lorrine Musante and Francesca Fifis, project manager of the Sonoma Valley Ceres Community Project.

Pictured in the Hanna kitchen are Hanna Boys junior Dominic Cancilla, sophomore William Avalos, seniors Ray Nasholm and Nathan Sickler-Evans, community youth volunteer Aliya Blinman, an eighth-grader at Sonoma Charter School, mentor chefs Britt Lee and Lorrine Musante and Francesca Fifis, project manager of the Sonoma Valley Ceres Community Project.

Lorna Sheridan/Index-Tribune Education Editor

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A handful of Hanna Boys Center students recently began volunteering in a program devoted to helping deliver fresh wholesome foods to people facing serious illness. The initiative gives at-risk youth the chance to volunteer while developing their gardening, cooking and other food industry skills.

The Ceres Community Project (ceresproject.org) is based in Sebastopol, but recently expanded with a pilot program in Sonoma Valley, largely on the strength of Hanna donating use of its kitchen facilities two days a week. The kitchen is staffed in part by Hanna boys with a desire to give of themselves while also learning valuable skills and life lessons under highly trained volunteer chefs and others connected to the CERES organization.

Hanna high school senior Ray Nasholm is enthusiastic about all that the program offers. “I’ve learned to cook and it’s a good cause,” he said. “I’m glad to be able to prepare food for people who have cancer. I didn’t expect to be able to jump right in and start cooking, but I did. It’s cool how no one bickers. The kitchen is a happy place, and it is really fun. I’ve met a lot of nice people.”