Earlier this year, SNAP-Ed staff at Pierce County WSU offered an eight-lesson Eating Smart Being Active series at the Lakes Nourish Food Bank in Lakewood, WA. Linda Mathews, Pierce County WSU Extension, explained that a strong partnership with Elena Sanchez, the Food Bank Manager, helped make this class successful. Elena encourages food pantry clients to attend classes by offering first place in line for groceries on class days. In turn, Linda and other SNAP-Ed staff coordinate with Elena to match recipes to food pantry inventory. This type of collaboration made the class that much more meaningful for participants like Tamar Yahawahdah who shared, ” I am so happy to have had the opportunity to participate in these classes. I learn so much during class and from the tools and pamphlets. Thank you for making the class fun and energetic.”
When SNAP-Ed staff offered a Colorful Cooking Made Easy train-the-trainer session to teach community volunteers how to facilitate food demonstrations at local food banks and pantries, Tamar was eager to sign up. Before this workshop, Tamar says she found it “difficult and frustrating to create a dinner that made your belly happy.” The training helped her use creativity to combine healthy options into delicious meals with “eye appeal.” Through this training, Tamar’s goals have shifted to focus on meals that are “simple, healthy, fun and based on what might be available at the local food pantry.” She hasn’t stopped there, though – she created a Facebook page to share photos of healthy meals and recipes with her extended family in Memphis and Atlanta!
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