The Joy of Sharing

Robert Moreno

Thu January 26, 2017 5:37pm

David Pack is not a typical teenager.
Instead of spending all of his days playing video games, the 17-year-old spends most of his free time teaching kids the science behind cooking through his program C3K.
C3K - Cooking, Chemistry, Community for Kids – started two-years ago when Park was a sophomore at St. Augustine High School.
The program allows David, a Chula Vista resident, to feed people while doing the two things he loves.
“I kind of just wanted to do something to help out the community but I wanted to do something meaningful for myself,” he said. “So I wanted to combine my passion for cooking but I also had an interest in science so I wanted to combine those two to help out my community.”
David had an interest in cooking since he was a child. He said instead of watching cartoons he would watch Food Network. Now he and a partner Sara Vargas run the cooking program.
Currently, David said the program is going through the process of applying for nonprofit status.
David, now a high school senior, first launched his program at a Tijuana orphanage where he did a presentation showing kids how to make ice cream and the science behind it. He explained and demonstrated how rock salt turned into ice cream.
He said that presentation was an instant success and he quickly got involved with Rady Children’s Hospital where he taught patients how to make ice cream, pies and pumpkin bread and had them delivered to teachers at his high school.
“Basically I was trying to involve them [the patients from Rady Children’s Hospital] into the community and trying to show them that cooking could be meaningful for the people who are making [the food] as well as receiving [food],” he said.
He then caught the eye of the Chula Vista community.
St. Rose of Lima church contacted him to help create a recipe with some of the produce it gives out to low-income families who are unfamiliar with cooking vegetables.
David, who’s always dressed in chef attire when on assignment, whipped up an orange jicama salad recipe and sampled it out in the food pantry line and passed the recipe along to those can learn how to make something out of vegetables.
Then last December he was invited to one of Chula Vista’s Hunger Relief Forum’s that discussed food insecurity throughout the county. At the forum David created his mother’s banana bread from overripe bananas and French toast from expired bread.
David said he cannot believe how far his program has come in just two years.
“We started off going to an orphanage [in Tijuana] and that’s how it kind of grew from there,” he said. “More people started contacting me and recognizing my efforts and really wanted me to get involved with other things in the community.”
Next year David plans to attend college away from home, but he said he hopes to keep the program alive in San Diego with the help of partner Sara.