The Junior League of Kansas City, Missouri: women building better communities.
By Alicia Heins, Family Dinners Committee Chair 2012-13
Healthy U’s Family Dinners is a 12-week program working with University Academy and Harvesters. During the fall semester, 11 families prepared meals, learned cooking skills, participated in nutrition lessons and set healthy goals. Every weekly dinner takes more than thirty League volunteers to execute a variety of roles to make this program possible. Our volunteers educate the families about the benefits of eating and maintaining healthy lifestyles by setting personal goals. This program also provides one-on-one interaction between the volunteers and the participating families, allowing them to experiment with new foods, recipes and spices. Participants also take home a 20-pound bag of food each week.
A couple highlights from the fall semester included introducing the families to authentic dishes such as couscous tacos, fruit pizzas and no-suffering succotash. They also taste-tested a variety cheeses and played charades. At the conclusion of the program, the kids received a Junior League Kids in the Kitchen Cookbook so they can use the recipes from our program at home. During the Oct. 17 Family Dinner, KSHB-TV stopped by to promote the program on the eve of Holiday Mart. Proceeds from the four-day shopping extravaganza help the League support many programs like this in the Kansas City community.