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Natural Foods Merchandiser

Make healthy meals in a SNAP

Make healthy meals in a SNAP
How one chef is teaching kids to make healthy meals for their families, for less than $3.50. Organic Connections, the magazine of Natural Vitality, reports.

Earlier in 2012, the number of people who participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) inched up to 46,681,833 Americans. While the program provides a vital service to people who need help buying food, in reality, SNAP constitutes a bare minimum of sustenance. For example, a family of four typically receives $250 per month. Roughly $62.50 per week or $2.90 per meal.

Stretching such meager funds is challenging for trained chefs, let alone someone who has limited time and cooking knowhow. And making this meal healthy? It seems next to impossible.

Enter Alli Sosna, chef and founder of the nonprofit MicroGreens, who was determined to show that it is possible for families to cook healthy, filling meals with funds provided by the SNAP program. Working with school-age children, Sosna teaches kids how to cook delicious meals that meet a total budget of $3.50. Plus, each meal can feed a family of four. “After every class, when the kids get picked up from school, I meet the moms, I meet the dads, and we talk,” Sosna told Organic Connections. “We talk about what they struggle with at home. We offer tips, ways to eat better and healthy.” Dishes include Herb Chicken Soup, Apple Chicken Salad on Wheat, Italian Pork Ragout, and Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Pickled Carrots.

Sosna’s goal is to expand healthy food from the schools—where there has been much media and outreach  in recent years—to the home. “The question became, how do you help fill the education gap between the child and the parents, so that when the child comes home and asks for sweet potatoes, mom and dad know where you get the sweet potato and know how cook the sweet potato?” Sosna said.

Read more in Organic Connections.

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