Elon Campus Kitchen partners with local community
Healthy eating and cooking are the focus of work with Healthy Alamance and the Career and Technical Education Center.
By: Melina Casados '17
This semester, Campus Kitchen at Elon University has been partnering with Healthy Alamance and the Career and Technical Education Center (CTEC) to provide local youth with the opportunity to learn about healthy eating and cooking. The collaboration, initiated by Healthy Alamance, offers kids in the community the opportunity to attend monthly classes about the benefits of eating a variety of foods.
Once a month, students from CTEC and Campus Kitchen at Elon University Campus Kitchen come together to teach a workshop at the Mayco Bigelow Community Center in the North Park Community. Campus Kitchen students teach the nutrition lessons and the cooking portion is led by students in the culinary arts program at the Career and Technical Education Center. The workshops were developed from the Building Blocks for Healthy Kids curriculum produced by The Campus Kitchen Project. Topics included MyPlate, good grains, eating the rainbow, etc.
One of the goals of the workshop series has been to get community members excited about the North Park Farmer’s Market, which opened on April 5, 2016. “We’re hoping that by that point the kids are excited enough about local food and fresh food and making their own food from scratch that they can then prepare to come down to the market,” said Cat Palmer, a Healthy Alamance Elon Alamance Health Partner.
The opening of the North Park Farmer’s Market provides the community access to fresh and nutritious produce; this is a huge asset to the community because the area is a food desert by definition of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The market is held every Tuesday from 3 to 6 p.m at 849 Sharpe Rd. Palmer hopes that the Farmer’s Market will reach a variety of community members, from Burlington families to Elon University students.
Campus Kitchen coordinator Stacey Rusterholz agrees that the collaboration is a great way for Elon students to interact with their local community.
“It’s impactful to see how lots of different groups who are passionate about the same issue can come together and support a great cause,” said Rusterholz.
More information about the North Park Farmer’s Market can be found on the organization's Facebook page.