Providing healthy food choices to vulnerable populations through agriculture reclamation since 2016
There are many barriers to healthy eating; cost, disability, knowledge, access, and convenience. Cooking For Health integrates into our existing project solutions to overcome barriers in the food system contributing to food insecurity and health disparities in vulnerable populations. A commercial kitchen allows us to preserve excess foods in much larger quantities while providing healthy prepared meal choices to our senior and disabled clients, distribute excess food to our partners agencies, and provide educational opportunities while creating a sustainable funding mechanism for the organization.
To reduce food loss by preparing healthy prepared meals for seniors and disabled residents.
To expand our education of healthy demonstration cooking, Kids Veggie Bucks program, and catering projects.
What we accomplish...
Catering for Health:
We provide a special niche of education whereby we serve locally grown, healthful food at meetings, health events, and conferences. How many times have you gone to an event about health or hunger and are served really bad, unhealthy food during the event. We help partner agencies practice what they preach by providing a healthy menu, education and conversation about the food being served, as well as recipe cards so attendees can prepare the same foods at home. As one attendee stated, “I am leaving the conference healthier then I arrived”. Pricing is very affordable and competitive. One caveat is the menu is contingent upon what is being harvested that week. We provide a price and sample menu, but the menu items themselves are subject to change. Proceeds from the catering go directly to fund HCSI programs.
Prepared Meals Program:
Through the operation of R&G Family Grocers, we serve over 17 locations including eight senior and disabled living facilities. We are also piloting an onsite senior market to be located within Pythian Manor East. Many of our clients are unable to prepare healthy meals using fresh fruitsand vegetables. They rely on packed goods that are ready to eat which are also very unhealthy as they are loaded with salt, fat, sugar, and an assortment of chemicals. We have many requests for homemade healthy meal choices and cut fruits and vegetables to assist them with their own meal preparation.
Nutrition Education Training:
Our mission includes extensive community outreach and food education to encourage self sufficiency through Kids Veggie Bucks program, backyard gardening, cooking demonstrations, food classes, food service training and produce give-aways. We currently work with Tulsa Food Security Council, Lacy Park Community Center, Tulsa City-County Health Department, OSU Health and Sciences, Tulsa Public Schools, Tulsa Community College, and many others to provide community classes around healthy food. The Hands 2 Harvest program will integrate into this program by providing food for the classes and give-aways without incurring additional food costs to the program. Excess fruit and vegetables can be kept in temperature controlled walk-ins to sustain shelf life or preserved for use at community events such as Food on the Move for those in need while introducing them to new produce and encouraging healthy diets.
Check out our other projects...