Sometimes when I see a recipe it looks so daunting; like, “I can’t do this, this is too difficult.” And Kristen helped me, step by step, realize this isn’t really that hard, and you can do it. By just cooking, by taking this simple recipe that might seem a little daunting, Kristen allowed me to see that maybe the rest of life isn’t as hard as I think it is.
April Hoak

Madisonville Cooks

Project Lead: Kristen St. Clair

Most cooking classes are expensive and inaccessible for kids and lower-income families.  But when food education is accessible to adults and youth from all backgrounds, it has the potential to positively impact the health, happiness, and resilience of residents. Madisonville Cooks offered this very opportunity to 18 neighborhood residents. In June, project lead Kristen St. Clair facilitated and taught a week-long camp for nine youth introducing them to cooking skills and character strengths. In the fall, she led a six-course adult cooking class focused on teaching Madisonville residents how to cook nutritious, economical meals for their family. Each course focused on cultivating character strengths, including bravery, creativity, and gratitude. Through pre and post surveys, 100% of participants enjoyed the experience and 60% increased their level of specific character strengths. Among the adult participants, 100% indicated they learned more about cooking and are much more likely to prepare meals at home and try new foods moving forward.

Watch the video below for an in-depth look at the Madisonville Cooks project.