Could eating dessert be as philanthropic as donating canned goods? The answer is yes. Stewart's Kitchen in Norfolk, Virginia, packages its cookies—such as crisp and buttery Lemon Nut Crunch—and crackers in boxes decorated with kids' artwork; a portion of the profits go to art programs in local elementary schools ($5 per box; 888-436-6146). The Greyston Bakery, in Yonkers, New York, recently finished constructing a new café and a Maya Lin-­designed building. The bakery trains and employs many formerly homeless men and women to bake brownies to sell to customers and companies such as Ben & Jerry's (800-BUY-CAKE). At Chicago's Common Threads, Oprah Winfrey's personal chef, Art Smith, has enlisted culinary stars like chefs Charlie Trotter and Paul Kahan to teach children ethnic cooking, while emphasizing diversity and cultural differences (312-876-1289).
—Ratha Tep