Macomb County, Mich.
In order to raise community awareness regarding the link between a healthy diet and chronic disease prevention the “Healthy Cooking Program” was implemented in the spring of 2016 by the Healthy Communities program of the Macomb County Health Department. The program consists of a six week series of classes taught by Registered Dietitians and Public Health Nutritionists. The program provides interactive education and includes information and instruction on nutrition, healthy food choices and how to prepare a low-cost healthy meal. The program empowers families with the skills needed to stretch their food budgets and cook healthy meals so their children get nutritious food at home. As an engaging part of the program, the kitchen setting provides participants with hands-on education giving them the skills to plan, budget and cook a healthy, affordable and delicious meal. Participants gain an understanding of how healthy eating and cooking can contribute to both healthy weight management and weight loss, which reduces the risk of many types of chronic diseases such as Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, cancer and stroke. The “Healthy Cooking Program” is held in a newly renovated kitchen at the Max Thompson Family Resource Center (Thompson Center) located in the city of Warren. The Thompson Center was a former elementary school with a kitchen containing only an industrial sink. Grant funds provided by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and the St. John Mission Fund were used to purchase appliances and equipment necessary to make the kitchen a usable space that is used to provide the “Healthy Cooking Program” and ongoing community health education programs. The Thompson Center also serves as an outreach and service center for the constituent agencies of the Macomb County Health and Community Services Department. Serving as a Family Resource Center, the Thompson Center provides integrated services to address health equity and social determinants of health through the collaboration of health care, community services and public health partners within the center.
Ms. Sarah Cormier