In 2015, the HEAL program did amazing things. We gave out more a half million pounds of produce to over 27,000 people. We delivered hundreds of hours of health education and coaching that directly resulted in people eating better, exercising more, and living healthier lives. We celebrated First Birthdays in a community with one of the highest infant mortality rates in the country. We created community by serving more than 9,000 meals. We are transforming the health of people and place.
As great as 2015 was, we yearn to have a deeper impact in 2016.
Three years ago, Community Development for All People built a demonstration kitchen with the vision of empowering people to be able to create healthy meals for themselves and their families. Before this vision could be realized, the kitchen became a production facility for a daily lunch program called Loaves and Fishes. In September 2015, the newly opened Reeb Avenue Center began providing the daily lunch program and the kitchen again became available. The only obstacle to living in to the dream of the kitchen was funding. We wanted to provide this programming, but had no money to do so. And then, Global Ministries offered a grant opportunity through the Global Health initiative. The opportunity of the grant, combined with the space of the kitchen, and partnerships with organizations like Sprouting Spoon and Cooking Caravan resulted in living in to a long held dream.
In the first month, classes have already grown to full capacity. At the end of two hour classes, students wish the classes lasted longer, ask for copies of recipes to share with friends, and plan to return again the following week. Demonstrating the resourcefulness of students, a blind woman who attended a class taught the rest of the class how to separate an egg, which was needed for a recipe.
We began with a vision of providing kitchen programming, connected this aspiration with the resources provided by many partners, and in a short time have already seen community created as a neighborhood seeks to live healthier, fuller lives.