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New Grant Program Focuses on Engaging Kids in Cooking and Healthy Eating During the Summer Months

by School's Out Washington | | Posted under School's Out News

The Let’s Get Cookin’ Project in Seattle will expose children from low-income backgrounds to the skills and knowledge needed to prepare healthy meals and make healthy lifestyle choices.

Seattle, WA – This summer, children and youth in six summer programs will have the opportunity to participate in the Let’s Get Cookin’ project. The summer programs will incorporate the cooking component as a way to not only develop cooking skills and increase access to healthy, local foods, but also to create and support environments of well-being and decrease health disparities.

Data from the Public Health – Seattle & King County Seattle Public School Health Profile shows alarming information around the health disparities that exist in our community. Twenty-three percent of low-income children in Seattle are overweight or obese as compared to 19% of all children in the city and only 25% of low-income children eat 5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables a day as compared to 30% of all children.

These numbers show health issues facing all children our community, and how it is hitting our low-income populations even harder. The Let’s Get Cookin’ project serves primarily low-income children and aims to address these health trends that are negatively impacting our young people and creating unhealthy lifestyle habits for the future.

School’s Out Washington (SOWA), in partnership with the City of Seattle Human Services Department Youth and Family Empowerment Division, Public Health – Seattle & King County, and Seattle Tilth Association, are supporting Let’s Get Cookin’ and have selected the following summer programs to participate:

“In many of our low-income communities, children and families do not have access to as many affordable, healthy food options,” explains Janet Schmidt, Chief Program & Policy Officer at School’s Out Washington. “Through the Let’s Get Cookin’ project, we aim to help children better understand healthy eating, so they can make informed decisions and create lasting impact through education and knowledge of how to prepare healthy meals and maintain a healthy lifestyle.”

We know that engaging summer learning programs ensure that kids are provided with healthy meals and stay physically active. Let’s Get Cookin’ will take it one step farther to provide education and activities around meal preparation and healthy lifestyles.

Some examples of how the Let’s Get Cookin’ grant funds will be used include: Utilizing an on-site garden to use fresh vegetables and herbs grown by kids attending the program in their cooking projects; Culturally appropriate menu planning and food preparation to appeal to the kids served in the program; family engagement around cooking and healthy lifestyle choices; and incorporating educational games into the cooking activities that promote academic skills such as measurement, literacy etc.

More information at our Website.

Please contact Danielle Baer, Communications Manager at dbaer@schoolsoutwashington.org or (206) 351-6141 to set-up an interview with any of the funded summer programs.

Download and print this press release

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