ICAN Chef is an ongoing project that features recipes based on foods often received by low-income families through SNAP-Ed programs and local food pantries. Within the ICAN Chef project are several different series focused on pantry items, gardening and harvesting produce, cultural foods, and more. Each ICAN Chef series features custom iconography and differentiating colorways. These devices categorize the recipes into their respective series while helping to communicate and engage with groups that may be learning a new language or learning to read for the first time.
Research showed that once families received shelf stable food to help supplement their needs, many didn't know of nutritious ways to prepare or serve them. Food often went unused or thrown out due to lack of education and resources. ICAN Chef "What's in Your Pantry?" series bridges the gap by educating families to get the most out of the groceries they have access to while minimizing food waste.
The ICAN Chef "Kid Gourmet" series promotes recipes that involve kids in the kitchen. Research showed that getting the entire family involved in cooking and preparing healthy meals leads to healthier decisions as a household more often.
ICAN Chef "Gardening 101" leads families through the basics of planting and harvesting their own produce. ICAN participants may receive seeds or seedlings from local farmer's markets or educational events as a more affordable and accessible alternative for fresh produce.
New Mexico is home to many indigenous groups that often face lack of access to fresh, healthy foods. The ICAN Chef "Native Recipes" series highlights cultural and seasonal foods that are already significant to indigenous groups of the area. This series also seeks to promote and preserve these recipes within the indigenous communities and to educate those outside of these groups. ICAN met with leaders from indigenous groups to develop nutritious recipes that are culturally relevant and accessible. ICAN also received guidance on colors and imagery that would appeal to these groups and create more engagement.