Friday, December 9, 2016

Addressing Food Insecurity with Kids Cook!

by Communications Intern Nicole Lieb

Before interning and volunteering at Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard, I rarely thought about how food insecurity is a major issue in both the United States. Specifically, I never thought about how food insecurity affects children. In the U.S. alone, 13.1 million children are food insecure, in the state of Indiana, 355,410 children are food insecure, and in Monroe County, 4,750 children are food insecure. These numbers are both overwhelming and terrifying, as no child should be food insecure. After learning about how many children are food insecure in the U.S., I realized how hard Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard is trying to fight this issue.

Every Tuesday and Thursday from 4-5:15pm, the Hub hosts Kids Cook. Kids Cook is drop-in sessions that features hands-on cooking projects for children of all ages, healthy food choices tips, and delicious samples. Therefore, at Kid’s Cook, children learn how to cook, how to eat healthy, and how to garden, and on Tuesday, December 6, I attended Kid’s Cook to see exactly what goes on there.

Attending Kids Cook was easily one of the best decision I have ever made. When I walked into the kitchen at 4pm on December 6th, I was memorized by the smell of the kitchen and the excited children anxiously waiting to start cooking. At Kids Cook, the children were making Banana Oatmeal Cookies! The cookies are gluten free, vegan, and sugar free. Before the children started cooking, the Youth Educator, Georgia O’Connor, challenged the children by asking questions such as, “Have you ever made cookies at home? What are typical ingredients in cookies? What does flour add to cookies and why are we substituting oatmeal for flour?” These questions got the kids thinking and made them even more excited to start making the cookies!

All of the children at Kids Cook participated in making the cookies, from mashing up the bananas to mixing the cookie batter to putting the cookie batter onto the cookie sheet. It was amazing to see the children work so hard together to make the cookies. They were following directions, taking turns, and cleaning up while learning how to cook and eat healthy!

From the children being extremely cooperative to being eager to learn how to make the cookies, I had the best experience at Kids Cook. I was reminded of how important it is for children to learn how to cook and how to eat healthy, as knowing how to cook and how to healthy are very important. These children were gaining life long tips and were having so much fun while doing it!

I was so impressed by the impact and difference Kids Cook is having on our youth and how Kids Cook is making sure that less children are food insecure. Kids Cook taught me that the Hub is so much more than a food pantry, that it is an educational spot where people of all ages can go to learn how to better themselves, their communities, the environment, and the world.

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