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Community Kitchen Recipes

The Co-op Community Kitchen partners with non-profit organizations serving low-income individuals and families to provide a free 4-week experiential nutrition & cooking education course focused on how to prepare nutritious low-cost meals. When you consider that approximately one third of all people in the U.S. know how to cook and that in Sacramento we have over 280,000 people in our community who struggle to have enough food to eat each month, being able to cook nutritious food is a skill that helps individuals and families in need to put healthy low-cost meals back on the table. The Co-op Community Kitchen was developed in the Fall of 2012 as both a way to support our mission to provide the benefits of healthy food to everyone and fulfill a growing need in our community for hands-on education that is an effective way to teach new skills and support healthy behaviors.

Currently the Co-op Community Kitchen partners with River City Food Bank, Wellspring Women’s Center, Mercy Housing, and Tubman House where students meet for classes during the 4 week course. The program also provides an opportunity for Nutrition Majors at Sacramento State University to demonstrate their knowledge by interning to teach classes. The Co-op Community Kitchen program is expanding in 2014 with plans for new partnerships to provide more classes and continue to help our most challenged community members improve their lives and eat more healthy foods, one meal at time.

Key objectives of the Co-op Community Kitchen program include:

  • Improve skills in preparing delicious, healthy low-cost meals that consist of whole grains, fresh produce and lean plant based proteins.
  • Affect positive changes in shopping, cooking, eating habits and nutrition.
  • Increase knowledge on what foods are and are not part of a healthy meal to be able to make more informed choices.
  • Reduce food waste and save money by storing fresh & bulk foods properly.
  • Gain awareness about the Co-op as a resource for healthy low-cost foods.

Overall Structure:

  • 4 weekly classes – 2 hours in length
  • Each class includes hands-on cooking & nutrition education with an emphasis on eating healthy, local & low-cost.
  • At the end of each class, participants are given key recipe ingredients used during the cooking education component and encouraged to replicate the meal at home.
  • The third class includes a store tour at the Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op to learn about ways to save while shopping and our Co-op Community Discount Program.

Topics covered during the 4 week course include:

  • Eating by the Plate ( Healthy Eating Plate- Harvard University)
  • Why it is important to eat fruits, vegetables, grains and lean proteins
  • Recommended foods to limit or avoid
  • Seasonality & education on low-cost produce
  • Menu Planning/Food Budgeting
  • How to read Nutrition Facts labels
  • Ways to save while shopping healthy (3rd class-store tour)
  • Knife safety when preparing meals
  • Safe meal preparation and food handling practices
  • How to store fruits, vegetables, and bulk foods to reduce waste
  • Hands-on preparation of healthy low-cost meals ( $2.00 or less per serving)
  • Pledge to share what students learn in class with family & friends to extend the reach of the program.

Click here to pledge a donation of money or food

If you are interested in partnering to offer the Co-op Community Kitchen Program at your community organization that serves low-income populations or would like to make a donation or become a sponsor for the program, please contact Dawn Dunlap at 916-868-6358