Cooking Matters teaches healthy cooking to senior citizens

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - South Carolina ranks No. 2 in the top ten states for seniors that go hungry, but a local hunger initiative is trying to change that.

A group of seniors at the Canterbury House are learning new techniques to help them make healthy meals on a budget by maximizing their food dollars.

"You learn new things to get out of eating fat stuff and [to start] eating healthy," said Joel Coleman, a participant in Cooking Matters.

Cooking Matters is a 6-week course through a partnership with the Lowcountry Food Bank that covers the basic principles of preparing healthy meals and covering all the food groups to get the best benefit.

"They love the social interaction and learning skills they may not have known," says Janie Lauve with the Lowcountry Food Bank.

These new skills include making healthy choices about eating dairy and protein, how to safely handle and store food, and how to make better choices when food shopping.

Lauve says the cooking class not only helps seniors with a hands on approach to cooking, but it also sends them home every week with all the ingredients to make the meal at home.

The class also offers these seniors a way to stay social and interact with others.

"If they can't get out they deteriorate," says Sally Lorbach with the Canterbury House. "But learning how to cook and be with other residents is really important to them.

"Lauve says the Lowcountry Food Bank hopes to extend the Cooking Matters program for seniors to other sites throughout the next year.

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