Michael Scheer cooks for abused kids living in the Child Crisis Center in Mesa, Ariz.

Making meals — and a difference — for children in crisis

An Arizona team member helps out in a local crisis center by teaching the kids about cooking — while ensuring they’re fed.

May 27, 2014

When Michael Scheer goes on his monthly grocery shopping spree, he has a big list and many small mouths to feed: He helps feed abused kids living in the Child Crisis Center in Mesa, Ariz., before they move into foster care.

A former professional chef, he teaches a cooking class once a month to teach the kids about food safety and sanitation.

Children at the crisis center thank Michael for teaching them about food and cooking.
Children at the crisis center thank Michael for teaching them about food and cooking.

“Food is such a central part of every family, and it brings people together,” says Michael, a Business Banking underwriter. “This is a rewarding way for me to make a difference in the lives of these children who have gone through so much at a young age. So if we make pizza, the kids don’t just sit there and watch. They wash their hands, help mix ingredients, and learn fun things about the meal (such as where the first pizza was invented).” He also quizzes the children on what they learned and then hands out toys to the winners.

And in his class, they are all winners.

The Wells Fargo Foundation recently contributed $2,500 to support the center. Michael and his manager at Wells Fargo, Mark Stewart, personally pay for all the groceries. They say their efforts are paid back in smiles.

“The best part is when you see the kids laughing and just having fun,” Michael says. “They always want me to stay longer. It’s such a small thing to do. One girl told me she’d never had someone prepare that much food for her. I just wish all their problems were so easily fixed.”

Michael in his chef’s apron.
Michael in his chef’s apron.
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