Food Program

Working with AFSC has been an exciting and rewarding experience. I have enjoyed every minute of it.  As an intern, every day seems to bring new experiences.  From working at Lincoln High School, visiting Mar Vista, and going to All People’s Community Center, there is always something new to do and people-centered adventures are around each corner.
At every site, there are students being taught the value of leadership, nutrition, and gardening. However, one of the major projects I am involved with is at All People’s Community Center. Students are now joining the center in an effort to give families insights for utilizing nutritious food and healthy recipes. Every week, the All People’s Community Center passes out an assortment of fruit and vegetables to give to the families in the community.  This year, students will not only helped pass out the food, but they developed tasty and unique recipes from the fruit and vegetable bags that are given away to the community. Students not only get to cook, but they create and write recipes to be shared with community members.

We jokingly refer to the process as “Iron Chef,” as students will not be able to know ahead of time what fruits or vegetables they will be using. Together we need be able to quickly develop the recipe on spot to present to the members the following day. The plan is to give out the recipes with the donation bags of fruits and vegetables. But their involvement does not end there, students will be able to speak to community members and explain to them the purpose of the recipes. The students will personally greet them and talk about the importance of nutrition. Then students will pass out samples of the recipe to show community members first-hand how tasty the recipes were. Community members will be able to recreate that recipe later with simple step-by-step explanations.
            The Cooking Program thus far has been a great success. Students are able to share recipes with their peers and community members. Students are learning kitchen safety, food nutrition, teamwork coordination and how to operate in a kitchen on their own.  It is exciting as an intern to hear positive feedback; the students enjoy themselves and are encouraged to view it as their own project. Some students have become so involved that they bring their own ingredients and supplies from home to the kitchen. After engaging in dialogue, students have revealed they have become more adventurous in their tastes. Some are beginning to try dishes they may never have wanted to before, some are even beginning to cook at home.
            Though it is part of a class, students seem to forget the classroom aspect and truly enjoy themselves. We play fun music to cook to and we create unique dishes. The most exciting part is to hear how the students themselves are enjoying the foods. Most of the dishes are vegan and are composed entirely of fruits and vegetables. Some students have shared that they feel healthier due to this program.

By: Jenny Campbell
Written: 26th March 2013

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