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Families learn healthy cooking and handle food disparity, you can too

Posted: 10:03 PM, Apr 28, 2019
Updated: 2019-04-28 23:09:18-04
Families learn healthy cooking and handle food disparity, you can too

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Food access and nutrition are a problem for a portion of southeast Omaha families. Groups like CHI Health and City Sprouts are partnering to provide better access to healthy eating.

It's a first for CHI Health and others involved. Think of it as a classroom on wheels that you'll probably see at farmers markets this summer.

"We're literally out in the community and going one-on-one with these families to encourage healthy eating and good healthcare outcomes," said Pete Festersen, CHI Health vice president of public affairs.

CHI Health and the Big Garden have come together to create the Gather mobile kitchen. Sunday in southeast Omaha these groups are teaching how to cook healthy meals that can be grown in gardens. The ingredients used come from City Sprouts' community garden, which is another education center.

City Sprouts also provides garden beds to anybody looking to grow food who may not be able to in their own home.

"We want more people to be able to grow more vegetables for themselves because that's the first step to gardening on your own," City Sprouts' Alex O'Hanlon said.

"[We want] everyone can see how food is made at our mobile kitchen and also get to try it there," O'Hanlon said. "They did a really good job at choosing vegetables that are growing in our garden right now, so if they like something, they can go see it as a sprout or a plant that's just starting."

Festersen says sixteen percent of southeast Omaha families are food insecure, meaning they could use more resources to put food on the table.

Thanks to a grant from CHI Health, a program called Siembra Salud -- or "grow wellness" -- will connect at least 20 Omaha families to gardeners like City Sprouts to build their own home gardens. All addressing hunger in some spots of the city.

"This is something that I know will change our community," Siembra Salud's Viridiana Almanza said. "Most of these families -- it's their first time gardening and we also want to bring families together. In the future, I know these families will promote health and wellness to others."

City Sprouts is still selling gardens. Even if you're not a gardener, they can help get you started.