Cooking for Change is a partnership between the city of Lima, the Apollo Career Center Culinary students, The Lima Family YMCA, and the Lima Senior Culinary students. Funding of Cooking for Change was provided through an award from the U.S. Conference of Mayors and the American Beverage Association. Cooking for Change is working to educate the community of Allen County on how we can eat healthier with the resources available to us. In Allen County, there are many food deserts, (areas in which fresh produce and healthy options aren’t available), which is why we are working hard to increase access to healthy options in the food deserts throughout the community.
The goal of Cooking for Change is to teach community residents how to create snacks and meals on a limited budget. The emphasis not only will be on healthy eating and meals but also teaching the necessary skills and techniques to safely prepare food at home. Cooking for Change will partner with agencies and schools in the county, to use as locations where education and demonstrations will take place. Community members are invited to participate. Using students from Lima Senior and Apollo to demonstrate how to prepare meals will empower them to not only learn for themselves but give them a chance to also teach others in the community. Parents and families involved in these demonstrations will be educated and leave with skills needed to reduce the dependence on fast food and processed foods when it comes to feeding their household.
Changing the norm in our culture will take time, but it is necessary that we start taking these steps today. We all have to be willing to make changes in order to create a healthier and more productive community for ourselves, our families, and the generations to come. For more information about the Cooking for Change project, please contact Misty Lee at Lima Senior High School or Carrie Hamilton at Apollo Career Center.