The Hospitality House is partnering with Earth Fare for the class; the store is donating any grocery needs. This partnership allows participants to cook with unfamiliar items and learn how better utilize foods they already enjoy. Earth Fare also provides a grocery store tour, showing the class specific nutritional items that can help them stick to their budget.
Cooking Matters centers on the MyPlate nutritional guideline, which uses a place setting to illustrate how to balance the five food groups during meals. Building on the MyPlate eating plan it teaches people the basics of reading food labels, choosing the correct portion size and kitchen safety.
Chloe Paddison, an Appalachian State University student, is teaching the course along with Jennings. Paddison, the President of the Student Dietetics Association, member of Slow Food USA, a Farm Café volunteer and Nutrition Educator at the Community Care Clinic, will be teaching the nutritional aspect of the course.
Cooking Matters will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. on Thursdays at the Hospitality House. Community members are encouraged to sign-up. Participants who are not residents of the Hospitality House are sent home with groceries to replicate the recipe they learned each week and every participant is equipped with cooking tools and supplies when they complete the course.
Cooking Matters celebrated its second graduating class at the Hospitality House in November 2013. The graduates are now using their skills and graduation gifts to improve the health of their families.