Let’s get cooking! Our HEALing Kitchen grants awarded

The St. Joseph Community Health Foundation, in partnership with Parkview Health, is awarding 22 grants to local non-profits to teach the Our HEALing Kitchen classes.

Since 2016, more than 2,600 residents have taken part in Our HEALing Kitchen classes. Survey results show the classes help people improve their knowledge about cooking and nutrition, as well as increase the amounts of fruits and vegetables they eat daily.

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 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.

“We are grateful to our non-profit partners who help teach these classes in their agencies, says Meg Distler, executive director of the St. Joe Foundation. “They tell us participants learn a great deal from the program and also develop friendships with each other. Cooking and eating together is a wonderful way to develop positive relationships and improve mental and physical health.”

Grants range from $500 to $1,500 and are available for churches, nonprofits, and other organizations that serve vulnerable or low-income youth or adults. Grants cover the costs of food, necessary cooking utensils and equipment, and a final class celebration and incentives.

The following agencies will teach the Our HEALing Kitchen in their organizations this year.

A Hope Center, A Mother’s Hope, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Boys & Girls Clubs, Circles of Allen County, Community Harvest Food Bank, Early Childhood Alliance, Easterseals Arc, Fort Wayne Community Schools, Fort Wayne Housing Authority, Healthier Moms and Babies, Jackson R. Lehman Family YMCA, Memorial Park Middle School, New Haven United Methodist Church, Pilgrim Baptist Church, Redemption House Ministries, Renaissance Pointe YMCA, Shepherd’s Hand, St. Joseph Missions, The Temple Fort Wayne, YMCA of Greater Fort Wayne, and YWCA Northeast Indiana.