Volunteer Spotlight: The Gedde Family

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Holy sorters! The Gedde family helped sort over 400 pounds of perishable fruits and vegetables donated to us from Atkinsons’ Market Bellevue.

How or why did you first become a Volunteer for The Hunger Coalition? We are part of the Catholic Church Diaconate program in which we were to choose a volunteer service for 12 weeks. We chose your organization.

What other interests or hobbies do you have? Do you volunteer anywhere else? What did you know about The Hunger Coalition before becoming a Volunteer?  Our family likes the outdoors.  We love the mountain life for skiing, hiking, camping and fishing.  We also love the ocean life for swimming, snorkeling, boogie-boarding and sunbathing.  As far as volunteering, yes, we volunteer at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church in youth ministry.

Knowledge of The Hunger Coalition:  We knew little about the program but have seen your van around town and ads in the local papers. Continue reading

Cooking Matters Spring 2016!

Cooking Matters at The Hunger Coalition in conjunction with the Idaho Foodbank.

Cooking Matters participants wrapping up the Spring session!

Our Spring session of “Cooking Matters for Adults” (a cooking and nutrition series taught in conjunction with The Idaho Foodbank) has come to a close!

Volunteer chef, Loren Oden teaches healthy cooking techniques at a Spring 2016 Cooking Matters class.

Volunteer chef, Loren Oden teaches healthy cooking techniques at a Spring 2016 Cooking Matters class.

Ninteen overall participants gathered each Wednesday evening to learn about cooking and budgeting healthy meals for themselves and their families.

Our volunteer chefs, Loren Oden and Esta Hornstein have been cooking up dishes like Chinese Veggies and Rice, Pineapple Carrot Muffins, and Pasta with Roasted Vegetables.

Volunteer nutritionists, Sarah Seppa and Laurie McBride from St. Luke’s teach nutrition education and volunteer interpreter and Board Member Cyndi Ochoa helps translate for Spanish speakers.

“Last week we did the Blubber Burger activity, which demonstrates how much fat is in our favorite convenience foods,” said Krista Felton, Cooking Matters Coordinator. Continue reading

Cooking Matters with VOICE II!

DSCF2001Ding! Off goes the timer! This session of Cooking Matters classes has wrapped up! We were thrilled to have the VOICE II students (adults aged 18-21 with disabilities) learning about cooking and nutrition education this time around.

Thanks to guest chef Esta Hornstein for her fabulous cooking and teaching skills. Esta taught the students about cutting vegetables, cracking eggs without breaking the yolk and about reading and following recipes. “‘I can’t believe it’s over….when can we do the next one?’ smiled Esta. “The students were just beaming holding their graduation certificates,” said Esta. “I just loved teaching this class, they are all really great kids.”

DSCF2035Star nutritionist from St. Luke’s, Laurie McBride, taught the students about nutrition and what to look for when reading food labels. “The VOICE II students were so much fun to teach!” said Laurie. “Their interest in learning about healthy foods and serving sizes was great, they especially had an interest in added sugar and how to identify sugars on the nutrition label,” added Laurie.

Every week, each student got to take home all the ingredients to make the meal taught in that week’s class. They could practice what they learned that week  AND make a wonderful healthy meal for their families!

We are getting ready to start another 6-week course in March for adults which will be funded in part by Don & Marcia Liebich. Continue reading

Cooking Matters – Silver Creek High School 2015

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Last day of class – Extreme Food Makeover Competition!

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Last day of class – Extreme Food Makeover Competition!

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Last day of class – Extreme Food Makeover Competition!

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Last day of class – Extreme Food Makeover Competition!

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Shopping for ingredients for the cooking competition.

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Students learn how to make a healthy breakfast omelette.

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Silver Creek High School students learn how to make a healthy breakfast omelette with fresh vegetables.

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Graduation day!

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Cooking Matters instructor, Sharon Dohse, shares a laugh with Silver Creek High School students.

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Silver Creek High School students making a healthy spaghetti meal.

This fall, the Cooking Matters® classes (taught in conjunction with the Idaho Foodbank) were taught to Silver Creek High School 11th and 12th graders. “Cooking Matters®” is a 6-week course that teaches individuals, families and kids how healthy cooking can be delicious, gratifying and most importantly – reasonably priced.

Thanks to a $6,377 grant from the St. Luke’s Wood River Foundation, these cooking and nutrition classes are possible.

“I loved these kids – they were so excited to learn about cooking healthy meals!” said Sharon Dohse, Cooking Matters® instructor. “I was impressed with the questions these students had about nutrition labels and about processed food in general,” added Sharon. “They learned a lot about what choices to make when going grocery shopping and on the last day of class, we had a cooking competition, where Kate Metzger, Executive Chef at il Naso, Ashton Wilson from the BCRD, and local caterer, Esta Hornstein were the judges,” added Sharon.

“We believe that The Hunger Coalition’s work aligns with the mission of the SLWR Foundation, which is to accelerate the advancement of innovative programs and services that fundamentally improve healthcare experiences in our community,” said Megan Thomas, Chief Development Officer at the St. Luke’s Wood River Foundation.

Cooking Matters® is a year-round nutrition education program at The Hunger Coalition. Upcoming classes in 2016 include a segment teaching the VOICE II students (kids 18-21 with disabilities). “I can’t wait to teach the VOICE II students next year,” said Sharon. “They are an engaged group of kids, with a thirst for learning–by doing,” added Sharon.

By participating in “Cooking Matters®” classes, students receive a dish to consume during each class, a bag of free ingredients for select classes, hands-on learning, text book, graduation certificate and gift bag provided upon completion of the course. To graduate, students must attend four of the six sessions.

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Shopping for ingredients for the cooking competition.

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Silver Creek High School students learning how to make healthy breakfast omelette.

The nutrition segment of each class is taught by Laurie McBride, a registered dietitian from St. Luke’s Wood River Medical Center. During each class, a healthy dish is cooked that exemplifies the nutrition lesson. “It was great talking about nutrition, and helping students decipher nutrition labels,” said Laurie. “They definitely understood the value of looking at labels and making good choices when shopping for food,” she added.

“This class is a perfect fit for our Big Picture Learning school,” said Silver Creek High School principal, Mike Glenn. “It is a workshop format packed with dense learning and immediately applicable. When students go home and cook for their mom, brothers and sisters or guardian and share their new knowledge about healthy eating, this is very impactful.” added Mike.

“Sharon is patient and caring in her approach to teaching. This hands-on approach is so effective in teaching this population of students. She has rallied many community resources and folks to come in and share their love of cooking to our students and the results speak for themselves- student engagement.” said Mike.
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Nutrition education taught by Laurie McBride, a registered dietitian from St. Luke’s Wood River Medical Center.

 

Cooking Matters: Winter 2015!

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The “I Have a Dream Foundation” kids were at it again this winter with “Cooking Matters” classes! (Taught in conjunction with the Idaho Foodbank.)  “We’re arming these kids with simple nutrition education that will hopefully lead them to make better choices when choosing foods in the future,” said Sharon Dohse, Cooking Matters instructor.  Continue reading

Cooking Matters Classes a Wrap!

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The Spring 2015 cooking classes are in full swing! Stay tuned for a re-cap and photos of the kids’ lessons and concoctions this semester!

This fall, the Cooking Matters classes (taught in conjunction with the Idaho Foodbank) were taught to “I Have a Dream  Foundation” DSCF0933fifth grade children. “These kids love to cook!” said Sharon Dohse, Cooking Matters instructor. “Each week they’d ask me, ‘What are we going to cook this week? What are we going to cook next week?’ They are eager to learn about cooking, but also to learn about nutrition as well,” added Sharon. Classes like these give kids a chance to sample foods they’ve DSCF1013never had – or even heard of before. “Every student has tried a new fruit or vegetable this session–many students had never tried a blackberry or honeydew melon,” said Sharon.

These classes are made possible because of the generosity of The Little Black Dress Club, who awarded us a $2,400 DSCF0927grant, Nurture, who awarded us two $500 grants, as well as their volunteer support for the program, and two $600 grants from the I Have a Dream Foundation 

By participating in “Cooking Matters” classes, kids receive a snack or dish to consume during each class, a bag of free ingredients for select classes, DSCF0805hands-on learning, text book, graduation certificate and gift bag provided upon completion of the course. To graduate, students must attend eight of the 12 sessions. As of week five all students are on track to graduate!Tuesday sessions are reserved for nutrition classes taught by Laurie McBride, a registered dietitian from St. Luke’s Wood River Medical Center. On Thursdays, a healthy dish is cooked that exemplifies the nutrition lesson. “It’s been great teaching these kids basic nutrition and seeing them comprehend the basic principles behind eating healthy,” said Laurie.

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The Hunger Coalition Awarded $2,400 grant for Cooking Matters Classes!

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The Little Black Dress Club – Wood River in the Idaho Community Foundation recently awarded The Hunger Coalition a $2,400 grant for its “Cooking Matters” classes. “Cooking Matters” is a 6-week course that teaches individuals, families and kids how healthy cooking can be delicious, enjoyable and most importantly – affordable.

Continue reading

14 Graduate from Cooking Matters

On November 13th, fourteen people graduated from The Hunger Coalition’s Fall 2013 Cooking Matters series! The experience was tremendously valuable for participants. They’ve told us that they are much more knowledgeable about nutrition, have strengthened their cooking skills, and gained a lot of confidence in the process. Check out their great feedback below:

“I’ve realized that what I’d been eating wasn’t healthy.  Now I’m eating more fruits and vegetables, and I’m teaching my younger sister how to prepare them.”

“My stove has an oven, but I never used it because I never knew how.  I guess you could say I was sort of afraid of it.  Now I make muffins and baked chicken and vegetables in my oven and my family loves it.”

“I never ate fruits and vegetables.  Now I eat them all the time.”

“I have a lot more confidence to cook different, healthy foods– especially vegetables.”

“Now I’m cooking regularly with my daughter.”

“My family really loves all the food I learned how to make.”

IMG_0362All those who complete Cooking Matters receive a free slow cooker, meat thermometer and cutting board, plus a copy of the course manual and a certificate of completion! The next Cooking Matters workshop series will be held in Spring 2014.

Background on Cooking Matters:

The Hunger Coalition began offering the Cooking Matters workshop series in Spring 2014 in collaboration with the Idaho Foodbank. Since then, three cohorts have completed it. The hands-on course is based on a curriculum developed by Share Our Strength that covers:

  1. General nutrition and selecting healthy ingredients
  2. Cooking techniques, safety, storage and sanitation
  3. Budgeting to stretch food dollars and maximize resources

We’re thrilled to be able to offer the workshop series at no charge to our clients.

Cooking Matters classes are held one evening per week for 6 weeks and led by local volunteers including a chef and a St. Luke’s nutritionist. One of the volunteers helps translate for Spanish speakers, and all class materials are available in English and Spanish. Each class includes an instructional and nutrition component, followed by opportunities to practice specific cooking techniques. Together, workshop participants prepare two dishes and then sit down to enjoy the meal before departing for the evening. cooking mattersEach participant receives a bag of groceries to take home and they are encouraged to prepare one of the recipes that they made during class.