JL High Point – Kids in the Kitchen

Overview

The Junior League of High Point’s Kids in the Kitchen program began in 2007 and has remained committed to fostering healthy eating and living for the past ten years.  During that time over a thousand school children from the greater High Point area have participated in our workshop and gained valuable insight on nutrition and physical education.  In the initial years our Kids in the Kitchen program shared AJLI’s focus of combating childhood obesity and empowering children to make healthy lifestyle choices.  Since that time our focus has shifted to meet the changing needs of our community.  Specifically, our current Kids in the Kitchen program supports the JLHP’s Community Impact focus of combating hunger in the High Point community and aims to ensure our local youth have knowledge of and access to healthy foods.

 

Community partners

  • Millis Regional Health Education Center
  • YMCA
  • YWCA
  • Big Brother Big Sisters
  • Boys and Girls Club
  • GoFar
  • Out of the Garden Project

 

How it works

Although this educational workshop has taken on different forms over the past decade, the current format is comprised of three concurrent sessions.  Over the course of two hours students ranging in age from five to fourteen participate in an interactive nutrition tutorial, take part in a hands-on healthy cooking demonstration, and join in a physical education class (like yoga or Zumba).  JLHP members and community partners collaborate as facilitators of each session to provide the most engaging and enriching experience for our participants.  The JLHP’s Kids in the Kitchen program is offered at no cost and has gradually transitioned to become a year-long initiative offering multiple workshops throughout the year in an effort to collaborate with additional nonprofit partners and reach additional children.

 

What’s the impact?

As recently as 2014 High Point, NC, was ranked second in the nation in food hardship (according to the Food Research and Action Center’s Index of Food Hardship) and close to one in four children under the age of eighteen were deemed to be food insecure.  Like many of the nonprofits in our community, the JLHP took this as a call to action.  As an organization we committed ourselves to developing novel ways of meeting the needs of our community, specifically by revamping our signature projects and creating new partnerships focused on meeting the nutritional needs of women and children.  As the result of community-wide efforts to combat hunger, High Point’s ranking has moved from second to ninth in the nation for food hardship.  We believe that the JLHP’s Kids in the Kitchen program compliments a bevy of other community efforts, but is unique in its offering of educational content.  Students are not just provided with food.  They learn how to plan and prepare healthy and nutritious meals, as well as acquire new forms of exercise and knowledge of how such activities can enhance their overall physical and mental health.  Taken as a whole, we believe that our Kids in the Kitchen program impacts not just the children we interact with, but also their families and friends.  Each participant leaves with educational material and a backpack full of nutritional foods and supplies to set the stage for their continued commitment to health and wellness.

 

To find out more about a recent Kids in the Kitchen event hosted by the JLHP, visit:

http://yesweekly.com/high-point-regional-the-junior-league-of-high-point-team-up-for-kids-in-the-kitchen/

 

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