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The second session of Side by Side classes is underway at Phoenix Multicultural Academy, Vetal, Trix, and Hamilton Elementary/Middle Schools in Detroit, Kosciuszko Middle School in Hamtramck and Pontiac Middle School. Parent School Coordinators Stacey Withers and Dennis Medel, Jr. are responsible for contacting the families and making sure they get to each session.
Side by Side, developed by Share Our Strength Operation Frontline, connects families with food by teaching them how to prepare healthy, tasty meals on a limited budget. Adults receive groceries at the end of each class to practice the recipes they have learned at home.
The program consists of five classes and a grocery store tour. The classes are facilitated by Chefs Mike Schram and Dameon Wilburn from Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeast Michigan and Nutrition Educators Vivian Washington and Eva Poole from Michigan State University Extension.
Families get an hour of nutrition education and one hour of cooking. They create snacks and meals that consist of flavorful, but healthy options, such as; yogurt parfaits, smoothies, macaroni and cheese, turkey tacos and chocolate French toast.
At the end of the five week class, families receive take home kits. These kits include nutrition education and physical activity promotion, pocket pals, a resource folder, apron, food scale, calculator, a shopping bag (provided by Gleaners), a cook book (provided by Gleaners) and a water bottle (provided by Gleaners).
A grocery store tour is provided as part of the curriculum at the end of each session when the families are taken to Meijer and taught how to shop on a budget and choose healthy alternatives. Meijer Healthy Living Advisor Christina Miller is in charge of coordinating and conducting many of the grocery store tours.
Other schools that will get classes brought to them this year include Barber School for the Gifted and Talented in Highland Park, Murphy Middle School, Clark, Hutchins@McMichael, J.F. Nichols, and Robert Burns, Elementary/Middle Schools in Detroit. Mark Twain @ Boynton was the first school to receive and complete the entire curriculum. An all-school graduation will take place for each family that finished the classes in June. Congratulations!
WHAT'S NEW WITH FEP?
Student Action Teams learning about nutrition
A couple of new things were added this year to the GWP Family Enhancement Project (FEP). The Generation With Promise Student Action Teams (SATs) are also learning nutrition education from FEP so that they will be more informed about the topic of nutrition as they make decisions about healthy changes within their schools. The objective is also to promote healthier eating habits and a more physically active lifestyle for the students on the SATs and the student population that these students will be reaching. As part of their program this year, they are learning basic nutrition facts dealing with the food pyramid, reading food labels, and the fat and sugar content in foods. The SATs learn how to prepare a quick and easy snack each week.
Brightmoor Community gets visit from FEP
Over the Christmas holidays, GWP-FEP held a nutrition class for residents and kids in the Brightmoor area located on the west side of Detroit. Participants in the two day program learned how to make healthy holiday snacks. They created yummy gingerbread houses made from graham crackers, shredded wheat, pretzel sticks, dried fruit, coconut and cream cheese.
If you'd like to learn more about the Generation With Promise Family Enhancement Project, call Project Coordinator Jamila Stevens at 313-456-2726.