Passion for Kids .........................

by Sue Zelickson, Tastemaker in Residence

I love kids. I received a degree in NKP (Nursery Kindergarten and Primary) education in the mid 50's from the University of Minnesota. I taught first and second grade in both Minnesota and South Carolina and then had kids of my own. During those years, I was a substitute teacher and began volunteering in numerous activities in the community that involved the the arts, food, illnesses and kids; joining these organizations changed my life in so many wonderful ways.

During one of my visits to a national food convention I learned about a children's feeding program that fed kids from low income areas in great need. On returning home I researched areas that could use a similar program and with the help of many friends and businesses I started three Kids Cafes.

In the North and South side of Minneapolis, we launched Kids Cafe at the Boys and Girls Clubs and also at Perspectives family center in St Louis Park. After school, kids are bused to these facilities to help them learn how to cook meals that then feed dinners to over 60 kids each night, five nights a week.

Donations came from many in the food industry and this led to creating a means of training kids not only to cook and eat healthy meals for themselves and their families but also to find jobs in the culinary industry. Kids are like sponges, they absorb what they are exposed to often, while not even knowing it is happening. I've watched them become confident and efficient in ways they never would have encountered if not for these life changing opportunities.

If only they hadn't taken Home Economics out of the public and private schools. How much more would our future generations have digested and could have gained even a smidgen better understanding of cooking and healthy eating. Thank heavens for Pro Start and the St. Paul College Culinary Arts and the surviving VoTech colleges. With many of the secondary public and private culinary schools closing, we are headed for a crisis in trained chefs and food purveyors that are a primary part of healthy living..

I love kids and know that they are our future! Therefore, we must provide them with all the basic survival skills in any way, shape or form that we as a state and country can possibly produce. Then and only then will they have the tools for success and the healthiest possible lives.

Visit or call Kids Cafe for a tour of the facilities. ❤️💋

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Our Vision

Founded in 1976, Perspectives, Inc. is an award-winning human service program that addresses society’s most pressing issues:  homelessness, poverty, addiction, mental illness, poor nutrition, and lack of access to services for homeless and recovering mothers and their children. You see, there is a special relationship between a mother and child, and not only do we understand that relationship, but we champion it!  

We realize that when a woman is raised with a lifetime of abandonment, addiction, trauma, poverty, and abuse her chances of replicating that cycle with her own children are incredibly high. But what we also know, and have shown for over 43 years, is that intervening with the correct set of tools can and does work. That is our program, which provides all that a mother needs to empower herself and begin to rebuild her family. The human spirit is simply amazing, and we have seen time and again that when a woman becomes a mother, she wants so badly to do it differently. She wants her children to have a different life than she had. Many would say they never had a chance, and the truth is they don’t…that is, until they come to Perspectives.

Jeannie Seeley-Smith
President/CEO