Outreach & Education

                    
          

Produce Distributions

Each week, our nutrition team is in the community distributing from one of our three mobile units or from our Healthy Living Pantry. Each distribution is paired with heathy recipes, a practical cooking demonstration, and valuable nutrition information that is easy to understand.

Distributions are FREE and open to the public. For a schedule of where we are in the community click HERE.

Cooking Matters® Signature Courses

Cooking Matters Signature Courses teach low-income adults how to prepare and shop sensibly for healthy meals on a limited budget. Over the course of six weeks, instructors build upon participants’ own experiences to teach budgeting, shopping, and cooking skills. Participants build confidence in their new skills through hands-on classes that result in improved cooking techniques and shopping savvy in daily life. Classmates also help one another by sharing feedback on each other’s progress. Participants receive ingredients weekly to practice making the class recipes at home. By using what they learn in class at home, Cooking Matters course graduates maximize their food resources, make healthier choices for their families, and prepare balanced, delicious meals. Because proper nutrition is critical for children’s health, development, and ability to learn, acquiring these skills can return important long‐term benefits for a family’s physical and economic well-being.

Cooking Matters at the Store

Cooking Matters at the Store is based on over 20 years of experience serving low-income families across the country. Courses typically include a field trip to the grocery store, which always proves to be eye-opening for our participants.

In 2010, Share Our Strength spun off the grocery store tour into a standalone program, Cooking Matters at the Store (formerly Shopping Matters). Tours can be led by any individual, in any community, anywhere people shop for food. It includes two specialized curricula - one for adults and one for parents receiving WIC (Women, Infants and Children) benefits.

During the 1.5-hour tour, participants are empowered with four key food skills:

1.       Reading food labels

2.       Comparing unit prices

3.       Finding whole grain foods

4.       Identifying three ways to purchase produce

Cooking Matters at the Store often ends in the $10 Challenge, an activity where participants use the skills they've just learned to buy a healthy meal for a family of four, for under $10.

Participants take home a booklet with recipes and shopping tips, a reusable grocery bag, and $10 worth of healthy groceries.

If you would like to request a distribution, a store tour, or a 6-week Cooking Matters class, please go to the “Schedules and Requests” tab.


 

 



Mission Statement: To put Christian Principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all.
The YMCA of Western North Carolina is a Diversity, Inclusion and Global Innovation YMCA

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