by Connie Cherba

Project Rooted, a 501(c)(3) organization with a mission that focuses on connecting kids to real food from the ground up, was founded in 2019 by Whitney Sanger and Kevin Scharpf, a top chef and owner/chef of popular Dubuque restaurant Brazen.

Whitney is very frank and open when she talks about why she wanted to start an organization promoting healthy eating.

“I have had ups and downs with relationships with food,” she said. “I struggled with an eating disorder for a very long time. While that might seem like a negative and dark part of my life, it actually gave me amazing and relative life skills that I cherish today and use on a regular basis. I started to have kids and a family, and I started to dive deeper into the impact food has on youth. I began to understand how I got to the point I got to when I was a teenager, and I didn’t want that for my kids.”

Whitney researched healthy eating and local foods and made an effort to provide “real food” for her children. When they began school, she decided she wanted to make an impact on children through education.

To read this and other featured articles in their entirety, pickup the September 2021 issue of Julien’s Journal magazine. Click to subscribe for convenient delivery by mail, or call (563) 557-1914. Single issues are also available in print at area newsstands and digitally via the Issuu platform.


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Julien’s Journal, the Dubuque area lifestyle magazine, is a monthly regional feature magazine for and about Dubuque and the tri-state region.


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