Local partners to offer 31 sessions of Our HEALing Kitchen classes
The sixth season of Our HEALing Kitchen classes is now underway.
The St. Joseph Community Health Foundation, in partnership with Parkview Health, recently awarded grants for local organizations to offer 31 sessions of the cooking and nutrition classes.
The local churches and non-profits will offer the classes to vulnerable residents, such as those living in homeless shelters, at-risk youth, individuals facing severe illness, those with disabilities, and people living in low-income neighborhoods.
Our HEALing Kitchen is a “Train-the-Trainer” program to help people, especially those who are low-income or vulnerable, learn to prepare healthy and affordable meals. Using the Our HEALing Kitchen curriculum, developed by Parkview Health dietitians, organizations host a series of six to eight cooking and nutrition classes for anywhere from eight to 12 students. Organizations designate a program facilitator who receives training and coaching, as well as the materials needed to teach a successful series of classes.
“The St. Joseph Community Health Foundation and our partners are working to build a healthier community by increasing access to nutritious and affordable food, as well as providing the education about how to prepare and enjoy those foods,” says Meg Distler, executive director of the St. Joe Foundation.
According to Mary Tyndall, food insecurity and nutrition program officer at the St. Joe Foundation, surveys from Our HEALing Kitchen past participants show that after completing the course, they significantly increased the amount of fruits and vegetables eaten. Since 2016, more than 2,000 residents have taken the Our HEALing Kitchen course.
This year the following organizations will offer the Our HEALing Kitchen classes: Memorial Park Middle School, A Mother’s Hope, Fort Wayne Community Schools Amp Lab, CASS Housing, Community Harvest Food Bank, Healthier Moms & Babies, Redemption House, Fort Wayne Housing Authority – River’s Edge, Fort Wayne Housing Authority – McCormick Place, Boys & Girls Clubs of Fort Wayne, Cancer Services, Early Childhood Alliance, New Haven United Methodist Church, Pilgrim Baptist Church, Shepherd’s Hand, The Temple Fort Wayne, YWCA, Brightpoint, Human Agricultural Co-Operative, and YMCA – Jackson Lehman.