Our HEALing Kitchen to expand thanks to state grant

Local middle school students will be learning how to cook nutritious meals thanks to a grant awarded to the St. Joseph Community Health Foundation from the Indiana Department of Health.

The $22,500 grant from the Division of Nutrition and Physical Activity at the Indiana Department  of Health will support the Our HEALing Kitchen program in all 12 Fort Wayne Community Schools middle schools.

Our HEALing Kitchen is a cooking curriculum developed by the St. Joe Foundation and registered dietitians from Parkview Health. The program focuses on preparing healthy and affordable meals and emphasizes increasing the amounts of fruits and vegetables people eat.

The St. Joe Foundation and Parkview Health partner each year to offer the Our HEALing Kitchen curriculum at area churches and non-profit organizations. The grant from the Department of Health will allow the program to be expanded into local middle schools.

“In this era of fast food and busy schedules, families often have little time to teach their children how to cook,” says Meg Distler, executive director of the St. Joe Foundation. “This expansion of Our HEALing Kitchen into Fort Wayne middle schools will help students not only learn how to cook, but will also help them learn to prepare nutritious meals that can help reduce their chances of developing chronic diseases.”

Our HEALing Kitchen classes will be taught in Fort Wayne Community Schools this fall. Since 2016, more than 2,000 residents have taken the Our HEALing Kitchen course.