When people are struggling with food insecurity, they are often forced to turn to cheaper, less nutritious food options, which can have a negative impact on their health over time. That's why at Comfort Food Community, we believe Food as Health is an integral piece of food access.
We focus not just on providing fresh fruits and vegetables to our community members, but on making it easy for people to cook and use these healthier foods in their meals. Our Nutrition Education Coordinator, Carolyn, takes our "Food as Health" initiatives seriously and works hard to help our community members stay healthy and well-fed.
One way we do this is by preparing meal kits for our Greenwich and Cossayuna pantry services. These kits include all the ingredients needed to make filling, nutritious meals, reducing the burden of meal planning for our guests and helping them explore new, healthy foods they may not have tried before. For instance last week, Carolyn prepared an Apple Pie Overnight Oats kit complete with oats, apples, walnuts, and a mason jar to prep the meal in.
Another way we inspire and educate our community members is through recipe demonstrations and tastings during pantry service. Recently, Carolyn cooked apple butter from start to finish at our pantry service, filling the entire room with the sweet aroma of caramelizing apples and cinnamon. People were excited to taste the creation and take home the recipe to make it themselves. Apples are a local, in-season crop that's packed with fiber and antioxidants, making them a healthy and delicious addition to any meal.
By combining education efforts with our food access sites, we aim to make weekly meal planning not just less stressful, but also fun and easy. We believe that putting food in the hands of our community members is only one part of the puzzle for ensuring everyone has access to good, fresh food. You can learn more about our Food as Health program here or click to become a volunteer or donate.