Game Changers

Special Chefs backs four game-changing initiatives to support burgeoning cooking skills and health for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities living in group-home settings throughout the United States.

Our call to action is for providers, private citizens and local businesses to help fuel this proactive movement that delivers so many far-reaching benefits. To get involved in any of the initiatives noted below, please contact

Pretty Plates

Food simply tastes better when the plate is pretty. And it’s possible to get excited about meal preparation and cooking more healthfully when utensils and pots and pans are in good working order and right at your fingertips. Unfortunately, all of the above isn’t reality in most group home kitchens. Perpetually cash-strapped providers struggle to outfit community-based kitchens and keep them up to par.

Special Chefs is dedicated to turning this tide through its Pretty Plates initiative. You can make a donation to Special Chefs and we will purchase “pretty plates” (to include plates, flatware, pots, pans, and utensils) that we will send to the reputable, leading providers participating in this program. Or, we will supply you with the name of a participating social service organization, so that you can send your own “pretty plates” directly from any online store or your local post office. However, we ask that you only provide new “pretty plates,” please. And no donation is too small; a new whisk or spatula is a game changer!

Mighty Hearts

The power of collective involvement and achievement. There’s a group home right down the block from where you work and live that can use your enthusiasm and support when it comes to getting charged up about better nutrition and healthier eating. You might stop in once a month or once a week, you can whip up cookies together for the December holidays or a casserole for someone’s birthday, or you can tag along at the grocery store; it’s up to you and the community-based residence in your neck of the woods. We’ll put the two of you in touch via email once you express interest in Mighty Hearts. Corporations can consider Mighty Hearts as a meaningful community-outreach experience for their organization and employees.

Interestingly, people who reach out in this fashion improve their own health and well-being; there’s something about stepping up to the plate that is incredibly motivating on a personal level.

Good To Know

Free of charge, we share Good-To-Know curricula upon request from providers (or anyone!) interested in spurring education about nutrition and better kitchen and mealtime habits. This information is specifically geared to an audience interested in fresh, straightforward content. Click to see a Good-To-Know sample of what we will email to you on a routine basis.

Blue Ribbon Winners

We think it’s important to reward proactive strides. If you have a story about improving nutrition and health related to people with IDD, send it along to us and—pronto—we’ll send out a certificate of recognition for a job well done. We might even be so bowled over as to send along a prize to underscore our “Woo hoo!” Worthy recipients include anyone and everyone involved in this endeavor. We respect your choice as to whether the story you share is confidential or is one we can shout from the rooftops. Similarly, we can list you as the contributor behind the nomination or we’ll keep your name anonymous—you choose.