a guest post by Kendall VanHoose, The Campus Kitchens Project intern
Did you know that in 2011, 8.4 percent of households with seniors (that’s 2.5 million households!) were food insecure? Did you also know that typically seniors have less access to nutritious food due to lack of mobility or isolation?
The student volunteers of the Campus Kitchen at Gonzaga College High School (CKGCHS) in Washington, D.C., primarily feed two senior communities located near the school. By talking with clients, the students learned that proper nutrition has a direct impact on food insecurity in these communities. They discovered that too often clients are forced to choose unhealthy foods to save money, not understanding the impact those foods have on their well-being.
To combat this, CKGCHS students are planning their very first Tasting Event for July 2, during which they will invite senior clients to try healthy meals and give their feedback. In addition, a D.C. Central Kitchen nutritionist will explain what makes these meals healthy and how to find these essential vitamins in other foods.
The boys plan to serve a salad course, consisting of a garden salad, a fruit salad, and a pasta salad; and a main course of chicken prepared three ways. The goal is to replicate foods that are easily accessible to the clients in local grocery stores, in addition to better understanding which meals clients prefer.
The event will culminate in a movie screening – ever seen Super Size Me?- and popcorn. Super Size Me is a documentary that details the consequences of only eating McDonald’s for a month. Needless to say, the results aren’t pretty. The CKGCHS students thought this film would be a fun way to underscore the event’s nutrition component.
With the creation of this program, CKGCHS students are addressing the root causes of hunger in their community and we commend them for their innovative efforts. Keep up the good work, boys!