Curry family’s bus brings nutrition, literacy message

A team at Cruising Kitchens works to convert a school bus for Stephen and Ayesha Curry's Eat. Learn. Play. foundation. The bus is designed to serve as a mobile resource center that will bring critical resources like books and nutritious meals directly to children and families in Oakland. (Photo courtesy of Cruising Kitchens)

A bus for books, food and play launched in Oakland courtesy of Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry and his wife Ayesha Curry, their foundation announced Wednesday.

The Eat. Learn. Play. Bus aims to provide nutritious meals, groceries, books and more to Oakland children and families in a unique, fun, and engaging way.

The Currys will focus their efforts with the bus in areas that are poorer and have high hunger and low literacy rates, though the bus will be available to everyone.

“From the very beginning, we set out to ensure that all Oakland kids have access to three vital ingredients to a happy, healthy, and successful childhood: nutritious food, a quality education with an emphasis on early literacy, and the opportunities and safe places to play and be physically active,” said the couple, co-founders of Eat. Learn. Play.

The husband-wife team said the bus is “the physical manifestation” of their “dreams coming into reality.”

Stephen Curry is a three-time NBA champion with the Warriors and a two-time NBA MVP. Ayesha Curry is an entrepreneur, host, and best-selling author. Together, they continue to give back to the Oakland community, the Warriors’ home until recently when the team moved to San Francisco.

The Eat. Learn. Play. Bus will be hosting community events, too, such as health screenings and youth sports clinics. The Currys want to challenge the stigma children feel around accepting free things and replace that with surprising, delightful, and fun activities.

“Since day one, we have always dreamed about having a mobile resource center that could meet the community where they are, with the resources they need, in a really fun and dignified way,” said Chris Helfrich, president and CEO of Eat. Learn. Play.

Staff at Eat. Learn. Play. will partner with the Alameda County Community Food Bank to operate the bus each day on a regular route and at special events.

Suzan Bateson, outgoing executive director of the food bank, said that the organization is proud to be the lead partner with the Currys to nourish and enrich Oakland families.

One side of the bus will regularly provide grocery staples and meals along with California-sourced fruits and vegetables to Oakland residents.

Photo courtesy of Eat. Learn. Play.

During the first year of operation, the bus will deliver 50,000 restaurant meals from more than 25 Oakland restaurants, owned mainly by Blacks, Latinos, Asian and Pacific Islanders and women.

More than 500,000 pounds of fresh produce will also make its way to Oakland families each year via the bus. Children will be able to choose the produce they want and learn where the produce comes from.

On the other side of the bus, in rotating bookshelves, will be free age and culturally appropriate children’s books, curated by the Oakland Public Library, the Oakland Literacy Coalition and others.

The bus also offers opportunities for play with a basketball hoop, sound system and roof deck that can hold 35 people. The foundation plans to hold readings of children’s books, school backpack distributions, cooking demonstrations and among other events, health services.

The Illuminaries, a group of professional street and graphic artists, created the design on the bus aimed at reflecting Oakland’s vibrant spirit. The design includes elements such as the Oakland skyline, Oakland cranes, the Fox Theater, Children’s Fairyland, and the Oakland Public Library.

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