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By Cokeitha Gaddist
The Green Pond Nutrition Center is celebrating the graduation of its seniors who completed a new Cooking Matters Program. The program started on March 21, where seniors participated in a total of six classes twice a week. The Green Pond Nutrition Center had a 100 percent graduation rate, where each participant attended and completed all six classes, which were taught and facilitated by Alta Mae Marvin and Dawn Stuckey. Marvin is a Clemson Extension Regional Agribusiness agent and Stuckey is an agent with the Colleton and Hampton County 4-H Clubs.
Marvin and Stuckey presented each senior with a graduation certificate of completion. Seniors also received a gift bag containing educational materials, cooking utensils, measuring cups and a cook book of healthy recipes present by Jenny Reynold, Nutrition Education Coordinator with Lowcountry Food Bank. “The Cooking Matters program is more than just teaching participants how to cook, it fosters a sense of community engagement while putting a healthy spin on traditional recipes, teaching participants how to cook healthy on a budget,” said Reynolds.
The Lowcountry Food Bank encourage and support healthy meals on a low food budget. They offer the Cooking Matters program in all ten Costal counties of the Lowcountry. In addition to the Green Pond Nutrition Center, Lowcountry Food Bank recently completed Cooking Matters classes at Beaufort Love House, Jasper Council on Aging, and Ministry Senior Day Program. Lowcountry Food Bank offers a train-the-trainer program where they train volunteers to conduct and facilitate the Cooking Matters classes. “We have a mobile kitchen that we can bring to any location as long as there is a sink with running water (not located in a bathroom) and an electrical outlet to plug in the cook-top burners” said Reynolds “You don’t need to have a full kitchen for us to bring the program to you, we bring everything you need including the food” she says. “The program is jointly funded by SNAP Education which makes it possible for us to offer Cooking Matters to the community along with the food that’s taken home after every class,” says Reynolds.
If you are interested in becoming a volunteer or what to offer Cooking Matters in your community, church, organization or group please contact Jenny Reynolds at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.lowcountryfoodbank.org to learn more about the program.
Green Pond Nutrition Center Graduating Seniors were Azalee Green, Martha Graham, Betty Colleton, Mary Washington, Margaret Green, Lucille Smith, Virginia Greene, Pearl Richards, Eulalee Hayes, Lucille Wright, Naomi Jenkins, Rebecca Pryor, Josephine Simmons, Carolyn Smalls and Jestine McLauren.