The Danbury Senior Living Teaching Kitchen in the Stark County Campus has been playing host to a variety of guests for months now. Partnering with chefs from Danbury Senior Living and The Ohio State University Extension, mouth-watering aromas can be enjoyed by all throughout the facility.
The teaching kitchen in the Main Campus in Akron has been primarily used for cooking demonstrations for food programs within our network. Since most food programs are run by volunteers, it can be a daunting task to cook a hot meal for 200 people if you don’t have experience in the restaurant or banquet industry.
Cooking demonstrations help hot meal programs understand the best way to scale recipes for large groups, and how to incorporate unique Foodbank food items into healthy and delicious meals.
When designing the Stark County Campus, the Foodbank recognized the value in having a space where the community can come together to educate one another and to learn more about cooking and eating healthily.
“We still want to engage our hunger-relief network with cooking demonstrations, but we also want to invite a broader group of stakeholders into the kitchen,” said Katie Carver Reed, director of the network partner and programs department.
Cooking demonstrations are now open to Foodbank volunteers, guests of the Foodbank's pantry, staff, community members, etc.
The chefs are using food items that community members could potentially receive from the Foodbank’s pantry or a food pantry within the Foodbank’s network.
The kitchen includes residential-style equipment, rather than commercial-grade equipment, helping guests realize that they can recreate the nourishing, tasty meals right from their own home.
“We’re asking chefs to come in and show simple, achievable and nutritious recipes that can be created from items someone could receive from the Foodbank,’ said Katie.
Collecting feedback from cooking demos, Katie continues to hear people’s surprise at taking simple kitchen staples and turning them into delicious and inspiring meals.
“Core to the Foodbank’s work is the fact that food brings people together. So, to have a simple space provide us such great opportunities to bring people together to have fellowship with one another is the best part of having the kitchen as part of the building,” said Katie.