In an effort to further combat chronic disease, Mercy Primary Care Center has partnered with Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeastern Michigan to teach our patients that the first step to better health begins in the kitchen. Share Our Strength’s Cooking Matters™ is a series of cooking classes that clients are able to participate in free of charge. These classes are offered on a weekly basis, and are taught by a professional chef. Patients come away from each cooking class or shopping session amazed at the healthy food they can buy and prepare for themselves and their families on a limited budget. They learn what foods are good for those with chronic illness, such as whole grains for diabetics and that fast food should be avoided at all costs! During their shopping trips, they learn the value of price per units of individual foods which help make their choices of healthy foods within their budget. This knowledge goes a long way to changing behaviors that lead to healthier eating and the reduction of some chronic illnesses.
Building on its proven success teaching families how to cook and eat healthy on a budget, Share Our Strength’s Cooking Matters™ has created a line of tools called Shopping Matters to help families make healthy and affordable choices at the supermarket. Click here for a look at how Channel 4's Rhonda Walker learned more about how to shop healthy! And, click here to see how even other shoppers in the store learn by just watching the participants at their local Wal-Mart.
Patients at Mercy Primary Care Center have been enthusiastically participating in both these programs since the fall of 2011. “These classes have been excellent for me and my family,” said Wanda Musgrove-Spearman. “With what I have learned, I have stopped using salt in my cooking and love using herbs and spices like Chef Jake showed us. Learning about how to really shop within my budget with things like unit pricing and choosing healthy foods has been exciting! I even made my own healthy tortilla chips for my family and they loved them.” Want to learn more? Take a look at the Cooking Matters newsletter, featuring patients from Mercy Primary Care Center!
Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeastern Michigan is the local partner for this program, through the generous national support of the ConAgra Foods Foundation, Walmart, and Share Our Strength, a national non-profit dedicated to ending childhood hunger in America.