BUDS and CHOW launch community-based cooking class series

Schools and Libraries

June 6, 2017

A new community-based program series developed by CHOW (Community Hunger Outreach Warehouse) and Binghamton University Dining Services (BUDS) is teaching low income families how to plan, prepare, and cook healthy meals on a shoestring budget.

Called "Broome Eats: Dining on a Dime," the month-long weekly class is taught by Binghamton University Dining Services Executive Chef Kara Perez, assisted by Julie Lee, Registered Dietitian with BUDS.

"Many people didn't grow up with home-cooked meals so they don't know where to start in healthy cooking for their own families," said Perez. "My hope is that this program will open the door for people to get some hands-on experience cooking nutritious and delicious meals they can incorporate into their daily lives. As the children in this program grow and become adults, they will have a skill to carry with them."

Attendees are encouraged to bring all family members, including children 5 years old and up. In each class, families are given the opportunity to prepare a nutritious meal and learn how to duplicate that meal at home. At the end of each class, the families sit down to enjoy the meals prepared.

Food for each class is provided by CHOW, an organization that distributes two million pounds of food annually to community members in need. 

"When I first heard about the Dining on a Dime Program I could not wait to get involved," said Jack Seman, CHOW Program Director. "Witnessing families come together to cook healthy, affordable meals has given me a newfound gratitude for my work and the work of everyone in the emergency food network. The incredible partnership with BUDS is what has made this such a success. We at CHOW® look forward to the continuing of this program and others like it."

The classes are held at St. Michael's Church at 296 Clinton Street in Binghamton and feature discussions on food safety, meal planning, grocery shopping, and how to utilize left-overs. At the end of the four-week program, each family is given kitchen tools to take home so they can put their newly-learned skills to use. 

"It's been amazing to partner with CHOW and St. Michael's because they have the connections to the people that can truly benefit from this program," said Perez.  

For more information about Binghamton University Dining Services, contact Casey Slocum at 607 777 3014 and via email at casey.slocum@sodexo.com.