The Junior League of Tulsa has forged a partnership with the Westside Harvest Market, a not-for-profit grocery store located in a low-income neighborhood, providing an alternative within walking distance to fast food restaurants and convenience stores. The market currently serves 1,000 low-income families to whom JLT offers cooking classes that focus on nutritious, budget-friendly meal options. The classes provide the opportunity for attendees to strengthen community ties while learning and sharing information.
- The Westside Harvest Market
- Global Gardens
- Community Action Project (CAP)
- CAP Early Childhood Center
- Eugene Field Elementary School
How it works
JLT’s primary goal is to get families to cook nutritious meals at home. To do so, JLT teaches cooking classes with a primary focus on providing affordable nutritious meal options, teaching preparation and cooking skills, and promoting mealtime as a family affair. The classes are twice a month and introduce participants to fresh foods and produce that are not otherwise easily accessible to them. At the end of each class, the participants take home bags of the groceries filled with the necessary ingredients to prepare the meal again.
What’s the impact?
JLT’s Saturday classes have reached capacity and they are seeing interest in the program from community members who are also looking to increase their knowledge of health and nutrition. In an area is challenged by poverty, distrust, and fear, JLT has made it its goal to cultivate a sense of community by providing a forum for neighbors to come together as they chop, peel and dice to discuss topics ranging from nutrition to their children’s school. They are interacting with their neighbors in a supportive setting and are being empowered to make a difference in their homes and community.