DAYTON — This summer, 80 kids attending the Boys and Girls Club found out that kale and fish taste quite good.
Farmer Rebekah May, who is also a certified Community Health Advocate with Healthy Communities Coalition of Lyon and Storey counties, showed the youth how to create dishes from scratch using fresh local produce, herbs and meat from her farm and from the local school gardens.
“It was delicious, and we debunked many kids’ false thoughts about certain foods like fish and kale. It was a lot of fun to see them try things they’d never eaten before,” May said.
The cooking classes were held in the Dayton High School Culinary Arts kitchen. May, who owns Sunny Day Organics farm in Stagecoach, even showed the students how to make bacon using pork from her farm.
May also teaches community cooking classes for adults once a month in the evening at the Dayton Community Center, basing recipes on the varying USDA commodities ingredients received by the local food pantry. The purpose of the free classes is to teach how to prepare affordable and appetizing meals based on the low cost, but nutritious, items.
The summer cooking project with Boys and Girls Club members was funded in part through a $100,000 grant Healthy Communities received from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Farm to School Program.