Culinary & Nutrition
WHAT IS A FOOD PHARMACY?
A food pharmacy is an alternative approach to managing chronic health conditions. In addition to prescribing medications to manage chronic diseases, health care providers can use a food pharmacy to “prescribe” healthy foods for their patients.
ABOUT WHISPERING ROOTS’ FOOD PHARMACY
Our food pharmacy is the result of a collaboration among Whispering Roots, Charles Drew Health Center and Creighton University. We focus on improving blood sugar control in community members who have type 2 diabetes and are struggling with food insecurity. Eligible patients have type 2 diabetes, have an A1C (blood sugar level) above 9.0, and have visited their doctor at least once in the past year. Priority is given to low-income and uninsured individuals.
Our goal is to improve the health of the community by providing opportunities for people to learn healthy lifestyle skills while decreasing their dependence on medications.
HOW THE FOOD PHARMACY WORKS
Doctors refer eligible Charles Drew patients to the year-long food pharmacy program. As part of the program, patients regularly meet with their doctor, dietitian, and care team. Each month, they attend Whispering Roots’ cooking and nutrition classes, as well as classes on stress management and physical activity provided by Creighton University. At each class, the participants pick up their food box, which is filled with nutritious foods. The cooking classes then teach the participants how to prepare a nutritious meal using the items found in their food box.
Sodexo, Creighton University’s Dining Services, the Creighton Cupboard food pantry and Whispering Roots provide healthy food for program participants, and volunteers box up the food. Whispering Roots then coordinates food distribution.
Cooking & Nutrition Classes
ABOUT OUR COOKING AND NUTRITION CLASSES
Whispering Roots’ cooking and nutrition classes follow the national Cooking Matters curriculum, which is designed to teach adults who have limited food budgets to shop for and cook healthy meals.
The recipes we choose for each class are based on the food inside that month’s box. Grocery store and farmers market tours will be included in the classes.
ABOUT WHISPERING ROOTS’ CULINARY INITIATIVE
We believe all people, no matter their socio- economic status, should have access to healthy food, so our Culinary Initiative classes are designed to teach members of the community to cook healthy, budget-friendly recipes.
Our classes provide hands-on experiences and focus on using local, seasonal ingredients. Learners of all ages are welcome to attend classes to learn about healthy meal preparation techniques and to discover recipes that are easy, delicious and affordable.
We believe all people, no matter their socio-economic status, should have access to healthy food, so our Culinary Initiative classes are designed to teach members of the community to cook healthy, budget-friendly recipes. Our classes provide hands on experiences and focus on using local, seasonal ingredients.
Learners of all ages are welcome to attend classes to learn about healthy meal preparation techniques and to discover recipes that are easy, delicious and affordable.
ABOUT OUR K-12 CULINARY PROGRAM
We create our curriculum for the K-12 Culinary Program through a collaboration with Metropolitan Community College’s Institute for the Culinary Arts and Together. We visit schools and community locations to engage with students of all ages and abilities and align cooking activities with the objectives they’re already learning in the classroom. A lesson about fractions becomes more fun when students are measuring ingredients for baked goods or learning how to half or double a recipe!
As students grow produce in gardens, aquaponic, or hydroponic systems in their classrooms, we incorporate that produce into our lessons and recipes to show them how to prepare what they are growing. We help students learn to take food from the seed to the plate.
Other skills students might learn in the K-12 Culinary Program include:
• Knife skills
• Food safety and handling
• Following a recipe
• Preserving, jarring and pickling
• Building a healthy plate
• And more!
HOW YOU CAN HELP
We are always looking for volunteers to assist with classes, chefs to lead classes and schools and community locations to host classes. If you are interested in helping with our Culinary Initiative K-12 Culinary Program, please contact Anna at firstname.lastname@example.org.