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Washington State University

Food Bank Feasts

Posted by cahnrs.webteam | February 20, 2015

Last month you were introduced to some of the nutrition education Food $ense does with adults in South King County communities. One of the ways we connect with the communities we work in is through a number of local food banks. Our adult educator provides regular recipe demonstrations at the Auburn Food Bank, Des Moines Area Food Bank, Salvation Army Renton Rotary Food Bank, and the White Center Food Bank. The recipes featured in demonstrations are healthy and quick to prepare, and always use ingredients commonly distributed at the food bank.  Food bank clients continually impress us with their ideas for how to use the produce and staple items they receive from the food banks, and there is a lot we can learn from each other.

Every month, Food $ense works with the Des Moines Area Food Bank to provide a cooking class for food bank participants. Each class usually features 3-4 recipes chosen by our adult education team from suggestions class participants made the previous month. The food bank donates the recipe ingredients, and we make a full meal for everyone in the class. In addition to demonstrating the recipes, there is a quick discussion of a nutrition topic and plenty of time for questions and socializing. Everyone who comes to the cooking class then gets a gift and an extra visit to the food bank. We usually have a group of 30-40 people, with several regular attendees.  It’s always fun to share a meal with everyone and hear all the great ideas for new recipes.

Adult Educator Erin works with class participants at the Des Moines Area Food Bank.
Adult Educator Erin works with class participants at the Des Moines Area Food Bank.

The cooking classes are an important part of the services the Des Moines Area Food Bank provides. Directors Kris and Barbara have made sure the classes continued during a period where Food $ense educators were unavailable due to funding. And it’s clear that food bank clients appreciate that effort as well. One food bank client said, “I’ve been eating more healthy since coming to the food bank. The produce really helps. I’m eating whole grains and rice now. I’ve learned a lot from the cooking class. I’ve even lost weight since coming here.”

To find out more about the excellent work done by Des Moines Area Food Bank and how you can help, please visit their website here.