The Food Bank For New York City has launched Community CookShop, a joint venture with the Mario Batali Foundation, bringing hands-on family oriented health and nutrition education classes to food pantries and soup kitchens. Running through August 17th, Community CookShop will be held in 12 sites throughout the five boroughs. The program is fully funded by the Mario Batali Foundation.
“Community CookShop will integrate the best elements of the CookShop program and deliver them directly to the families that already depend on many of the services within our emergency food network,” said Margarette Purvis, President and CEO of the Food Bank For New York City. “We are grateful to Mario Batali and the Mario Batali Foundation for funding this tremendous opportunity. CookShop has been a resounding success in engaging children, teens, and adults to develop nutrition knowledge and cooking skills to make healthy choices on a limited budget, and we are excited to extend these tools and resources to the families that will benefit the most.”
Community CookShop will be run by on-site leaders that will engage families in six workshops throughout the summer. Each workshop is designed as a standalone lesson and will be focused on developing a set of skills including budgeting exercises, tips for maintaining a healthy lifestyle, child focused activities, and learning to cook simple and affordable recipes that involve the whole family. Participants are expected to attend three out of the six workshops and are encouraged to report back on how they have incorporated the lessons in their home. Additionally, all recipes were created by Mario Batali specifically for this program.
“We really wanted to create a component to CookShop where we could reach the whole family and extend the program out of the classroom and into the emergency food network,” said Darcie Purcell, Director of the Mario Batali Foundation. “We worked closely with the Food Bank in developing curriculum and Mario created recipes that were not only nutritious and healthy, but were also affordable on a very limited budget. Many of the recipes also have healthy substitute ingredients to encourage cooking with seasonal and fresh ingredients, when available. Community CookShop will provide families with a new set of skills and the confidence that a home cooked meal is a real possibility.”
Building on the success of CookShop, the Food Bank’s signature nutrition education in New York City public schools, the Food Bank will also be launching CookShop Classroom for After-School that will reach students ages 6 to 12 in an after school setting. CookShop Classroom for After-School will be a partnership with the Department of Youth and Community Development, The After School Corporation, and the Department of Parks and Recreation as well as participating schools. Approximately 45 sites with 2 to 3 classes at each site will educate over 1,500 children with lessons in health and nutrition education.
Those interested in participating or learning more about Community CookShop, CookShop Classroom for After-School, and other programs offered by The Food Bank For New York City are encouraged to visit www.foodbanknyc.org.