At Convivium, creating community around food (our mission statement) also means providing access and education about healthy food choices to children and others who are struggling with food access and the adverse health effects of eating a diet of highly processed food.

This past Sunday we hosted the second annual Souper Bowl Sunday. It was an event, in partnership with St. Stephen’s Foodbank, to raise awareness about poverty and food insecurity here in Dubuque, Iowa. If you have not heard, the even was a huge success! We doubled our attendance from last year and raised over $2,000 that will go to support St. Stephen’s and Convivium’s outreach efforts for the hungry and food insecure.

For us, one of the cooking classes funded through events like Souper Bowl Sunday is a family-oriented class called Good and Cheap: Eat Well on $4/day by Leanne Brown. The book was written as part of Ms. Brown’s PhD thesis and includes thoughtful, healthy, vegetable-heavy recipes that can be prepared for $4 per day – the amount per day that you receive if you qualify for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (what used to be called Food Stamps).

This four-week class provides both exposure to real foods AND teaches the knowledge and skills needed to prepare healthy meals using those real food ingredients, all on a budget. The hands-on sessions cover practical cooking technique, information on how to navigate a grocery store and expose students to new types of fruit and vegetables in a supportive and fun environment.

Family participants from Good & Cheap taught in March of 2019.

We have currently hosted this class with patients from Crescent Community Health Center and participants of the Circle’s Initiative. This year we look forward to hosting the class quarterly and will continue to offer it free of charge to participants thanks to the Women’s Giving Circle, Dubuque’s Food Policy Council, proceeds from Souper Bowl Sunday, and daily support from all of YOU who support us through our restaurant, coffee shop and classes.

To learn more about Good & Cheap or if you are interested in offering the class to a group you work with, please contact our Education and Program Director: natalie@convivium-dbq.com.