Diet-related diseases like obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease affect a growing number of Americans each year. They pose an even higher risk to those who cannot afford proper health care. For these individuals, the ability to manage disease can depend on what foods are available. Eating well-balanced meals that are low in saturated fats, sodium, and sugars and maintaining moderate activity, is one way for them to increase their chances of living a long and healthy life.
Hays County Food Bank is trying to help by offering our clients a fun way to fight bad health. We educate community members about proper nutrition and healthy eating choices with our cooking class, Food Wise. Our clients learn how to take the fresh ingredients we give them and make a healthy, nutritious meal, great for the whole family. Meals are typically meatless since we know many low-income households cannot afford to serve meat every single day. We look for recipes that are affordable, packed with nutrients, and fairly simple to make. At the end of class, each household is provided with healthy groceries that they can take home and prepare.
Food Wise recipes range from Mediterranean to Mexican, Italian to American, and everywhere in between! In the past, clients have learned how to make “meatless” tacos using lentils and walnuts, how to utilize butternut squash when making pasta and enchiladas, and even how to save money and the environment when cleaning! Our clients are not the only ones who benefit from the Food Wise classes – our staff and volunteers love them as well. Follow our Food Wise blog for the recipes we teach, whether you’re a client who missed the class, or a supporter who needs some inspiration for dinner. You never know what you might learn!
The only prerequisite to attend one of our Food Wise classes is that you must sign up, as spots are limited. Clients are invited to sign up for the next class at food distribution sign in. You may also sign up with Chadwic Layne at (512) 392-8300 x221. The class is family friendly, so please feel free to bring your spouse and children. We believe that cooking can be even more fun when you are surrounded by people you love and that it is never too early to educate children about healthy food practices.
Food Wise meets on the second Tuesday and the final Thursday of every month from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. at the Chapultepec in San Marcos. Classes are taught by a food bank employee, an intern, a student studying food & nutrition, or a local cook. If you are interested in teaching a Food Wise class and feel that you are qualified to do so, please submit a suggested recipe, cover letter, and resume to Chadwic Layne, Client Services Coordinator. We’d love to have you!