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Education Subcommittee

Community Partners

 

Frances P. Bunnelle Foundation

Lowcountry Foodbank
Georgetown Outreach Ministries
Friendship Place
Helping Hands
Salvation Army
Smith Medical Clinic
 (Baskerville Food Pantry)
Habitat for Humanity
Georgetown Housing Authority
Community Care Network
Waccamaw Regional
 Council of Governments
Healthy Learners
Carolina Human Reinvestment
St. James Santee
 Family Health Center

“The Cooking Matters class proves that knowledge is power,” LaKesha Pringle of Georgetown reflected after participating in the first six week Cooking Matters class in Georgetown County that uses hands-on lessons to teach how to prepare healthy, affordable and delicious meals. The class taught by culinary and nutritional experts covers knife safety, menu planning, budgeting, cooking methods and health benefits. The participants prepare at least two recipes a week and go home with a bag of food to practice what they learned as homework. Pringle said one of the most important lessons she learned was how to read labels. “As a mom and a shopper, it is good to know what you are eating,” Pringle said, now reading labels as she shops to cut back on sodium. Pringle is teaching her daughter about eating healthy at the same time and her daughter now considers carrots “God’s candy.”alt

 

Audrey Miller of Georgetown took the Cooking Matters class with Pringle, and has seen her health improve as she implemented the lessons from the class into her daily life. “Eating right has been so hard for me,” Miller said as she lives with diabetes and high blood pressure. “The Cooking Matters class has changed my life in so many ways. My AIC dropped drastically in a month – my doctors wanted to know what I did!” Miller says not only has her diabetes management improved, but she sleeps better now that she eats better, her blood pressure has improved and she has lost weight. “This class is wonderful. I hope it continues forever and all the knowledge is passed on to future generations,” Miller said. Both Pringle and Miller were inspired by the Cooking Matters class and are volunteering to help with the next class and recruiting new participants daily. “I ask people, ‘Do you have a family? Are they worth living a long time for? One way to do that is through eating healthy,’” Miller said of her recruitment strategy.

 

altThe other six participants of the first Cooking Matters class agree about the importance of having the class in the community. A post-survey found that 100 percent of the participants would recommend the class to a friend. 100 percent of participants are using the nutritional labels to make food choices, 71 percent of participants are preparing more meals at home, and 88 percent of participants are eating more fruits, vegetables and whole grains. The feedback from participants shows how the Education Committee of the Human Services Collaborative is making a difference in Georgetown County resident’s lives. The partnership between the Super Pantry and Lowcountry Food Bank will continue with the next Cooking Matters class beginning October 30 being held at the Georgetown County Housing Authority. If you are interested in getting involved as a participant or volunteering your culinary skills or nutritional knowledge in future classes please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 

 

Our Success Stories Helping the Community

 

Cooking Matters

 

When the Education Subcommittee formed, we knew what we wanted to do immediately.  We wanted to create an intervention that would help clients who were regularly using community food pantries to supplement their food supply.  We wanted to help them think through and create a sustainable food supply for their families, and we wanted that food supply to be affordable and nutritious.  Furthermore, and perhaps just as important, we wanted to create a shared intervention that community agencies and clients alike could agree on and support, and from which we could experience mutually beneficial long-term results. 

 

From this early goal, we have partnered with local food pantry ministries, a community housing development, and our newly formed Community Advisory Boardcooking (comprised of clients who receive services and are willing to express their ideas and concerns).  From this early goal, we have discussed various ways to partner together, shared ideas and strategies for interventions, and most recently, we decided as a community to offer a shared intervention called Cooking Matters.

 

Cooking Matters is an eight-week course that will initially be attended by 15 residents of the Georgetown Housing Authority community.  The course is designed to teach skills such as shopping for nutritious foods, cooking nutritious meals (with actual onsite cooking lessons), and how to create and sustain a nutritious food budget when the overall household budget is limited.  Repetition of the word “nutritious” is intentional because with rates of diabetes and heart disease soaring in poverty communities, we know that good nutrition is our best strategy.

 

Cooking Matters will be supported in part by the larger Human Services Collaborative budget (provided by The Francis P. Bunnelle Foundation) and provided through a partnership with The Lowcountry Foodbank.  After the initial pilot during which we will measure outcomes such as changes in knowledge, attitudes and behaviors, local food pantries will begin referring other families who may benefit.  Our long term goal:  more families will be purchasing, cooking and preparing nutritious meals for their families and our community partners will experience declines in the number of residents who consistently need food pantry services.

 

 

Tools

 

The Human Services Collaborative has the use of a variety of tools to better communicate and service its clients.

 

Charity Tracker is an online database that helps to track clients and their needs.  This tool can help the different nonprofits communicate the servicescharitytracker provided to the clients and the services that are needed, along with announcements between the nonprofits about services that can be provided should others know of a client that needs them.  This tool also helps to identify perpetual users who from organization to organization, constantly needs assistance.  Charity Tracker is not used to deny people services, but rather, it is intended to help find the right services for the clients.

 

googledriveAnother useful tool that the Collaborative has been utilizing more is Google Drive.  Minutes, announcements, agenda, etc., can be accessed by anyone who has been shared with at anytime.  This way, documents are not stored via email or on a certain computer, but can be accessed as long as there is an internet connection.

 

The BenefitBank of South Carolina helps to get clients the assistance they need.  BenefitBank counselors can take a clients information and enter it into the system to see whether they may qualify for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Programbenefitbank (SNAP) benefits, Temporary Assistance to Needy Famillies (TANF), Medicaid, etc.  If the client qualifies, they will be contacted by the Department of Social Services in order to confirm their eligibility.  In this way, the cliient does not need to make an appointment and/or wait at the DSS to learn whether they may be eligible.

 

 

 

 

 

Ramps

 

 

A woman had been in the hospital for a few weeks and was being released to come home.  She needed a ramp and neither she, nor her family, hadramp99 the funding for it.  Charlie Ball, Executive Director at Friendship Place, was contacted about the issue.  Local churches were contacted and funding and volunteers were donated.

 

A project that better helps disabled individuals get in and out of their homes has been created.  This project, "Ramp It Up," has built several ramps in the community so far.  Eligible clients who cannot afford to build the ramp themselves and need assistance are identified and helped.  Willing Volunteers are found, along with donations of lumber and other supplies, and the ramp project is completed.  Some of the organizations already involved with the project are:  The Bunnelle Foundation, Waccamaw Regional Council of Governments, Friendship Place, Habitat for Humanity, and various local church groups.  This project is looking to use Charity Tracker, a client management database, to better identify potential clients who need ramps.

 

Often the need for a ramp comes up suddenly, as with an injury.  The client needs the ramp to return to their home.  The need is great but the volunteers are few.  We are looking for more groups of volunteers to help with these ramps.