Clients of the emergency food pantry at LCC are in desperate need of nutrition education and cooking instruction. Lura Kennerly, Linnton resident and MPH candidate at Portland State University has been conducting research and developing nutrition education programming on behalf of LCC clients. Local Resident Sarah Taylor has been conducting free blood pressure screenings during weekly distributions. Together their research has shed new light on the health, eating habits and cooking abilities of LCC food bank patrons. The results have been sobering, Over 70% of patrons report suffering from high blood pressure, type II diabetes or both.
The majority of clients report they are unsure how to properly cook available fresh produce. Clients rely heavily on emergency food to meet their family’s needs. Research has shown clients want to learn about cooking and nutrition but are unsure how to access that information.
Nutrition education and cooking classes are helping to improve the health of the large number of individuals suffering from dietary related illnesses and empowering them to maximize the food they receive in an emergency food box. LCC is partnering with the cooking matters program offered by the Oregon Food Bank to deliver these classes. In addition, LCC has developed a program in which volunteers will provide cooking demos during weekly distribution showing people how to use the fresh produce available that day. Currently classes are taking place in a make shift kitchen in the gym at LCC. A huge thanks to Cooking matters program volunteers Lura Kennerly, Lori Webb, Hillary Conway and