Maria Palma is the Director of the Culinary Health Education for Families (CHEF) program at The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio. Ms. Palma graduated cum laude from Boston University with a degree in International Relations. After spending several years working in Japan, she was inspired to pursue culinary training. Ms. Palma trained at the Culinary Institute of America (San Antonio) and graduated with distinction. Prior to joining CHEF, Ms. Palma spent five years working with the San Antonio Food Bank’s Nutrition Health and Wellness Division. While there, she coordinated and led culinary nutrition education for a wide range of clients across the broader San Antonio area, including; at-risk youth, cancer survivors, incarcerated individuals, senior citizens, women’s leadership organizations, children and adolescents, SNAP recipients, and food pantry patrons. During her three years as Director of CHEF, Ms. Palma has overseen programming and operations, including the opening of the Teaching Kitchen at The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio. Her interests include community outreach, education, health and wellness, social justice, and food studies. Maria was born in Guatemala and travels back regularly to visit family and to volunteer on medical mission trips.