March 27, 2023

Bringing Food Home

Cooking with a Side of Connection by Larissa Hannan

When I began advertising for the return of community and adult Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) education classes, I was shocked at how excited people were. With help from Skidompha Library, the CLC FARMS at the Y Kitchen, the AOS 93 Adult Education team, and some amazing volunteers, we hosted two successful community classes throughout the month of March!

A big misconception of SNAP-Ed is that nutrition classes are only done within the confines of our local school systems. However, that could not be further from the truth! SNAP has a few different programs specifically for adults, as well as classes intended for daycare providers and even for families to participate together. Having families cook alongside each other not only provides parents with new recipe inspiration at home, but also discusses ways to make the most of your home pantry and suggestions to help budget at the store. Most importantly, community classes bring back the element of connection and belonging; two things I would anticipate many of us to have missed over the past three years.

This past Saturday was our last class for Cooking Matters with Parents and Caregivers, a six-week program intended for families with young children to cook together. Each week we cooked two different recipes themed around topics like snacks on the go, making the most out of your pantry, incorporating more protein, desserts, and ways to pack in extra vegetables to meals. Maybe it was luck that all kids participating just liked every single food we tried, but I like to believe that because they had hands on experiences and got to guide the way through the recipes that they were excited to try new foods! It was so great to be a part of them practicing stirring, using a food processor for the first time and watching things blend, trying out black beans in brownies, and so much more. And while the classes were fun, trying new things together strengthens feelings of connection, trust, and curiosity for families!

Because of these awesome classes and the responses we have had, I am hoping to make SNAP-Ed classes in the community a regular opportunity for Lincoln County- and I need your help. I'm currently surveying parents and adults within Lincoln County to better identify the best times of the week to host classes this summer! Feel free to contribute your thoughts by using this link:

A big THANK YOU to our community partners and participating families and community members. We truly could not have made these programs happen without you!

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