Convivium has a deep commitment to helping all people experience and enjoy fresh food. To us, creating community around food 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.
Very often, low income families or others experiencing food insecurity are intimidated by fresh food options even when they have the opportunity to buy it. Without the knowledge of how to prepare whole food ingredients or the courage to try an unknown food, many recipes or healthy choices feel overwhelming and daunting.
Our adult, family, and youth cooking and nutrition education classes are designed to expose people to real, fresh foods; provide the knowledge of where our food comes from and the importance of healthy choices; and teach the skills of how to prepare simple recipes using fresh ingredients. The ability to grow and prepare your own food is a tremendous step toward self-sufficiency, self-confidence, and can go a long way toward reducing food insecurity in our community.
“Thank you for making us to learn how to cook and trying new foods and you are the best cooking class teachers and thanks for the food that we made. It was so good and thanks for the games that we played and I wish that cooking class never ended.”
Adult and Family Classes
For adults and families, our classes are based on a cookbook 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. The session is four weeks and culminates in a group meal that students prepare for themselves and other family members invited to attend for the evening.
For fourth and fifth grade students, we offer a five-week cooking class called “Food Culture Chefs”. In this class we focus on healthy food choices, basic cooking and food preparation skills, and table etiquette; all taught through interactive lessons that discuss the concept of food culture and develop an understanding of the role of food culture traditions. The session culminates in a group meal that is prepare (mostly) by the kids for their parents and other family members.
“I really enjoy cooking with all of you guys! My favorite part was cooking cookies. Also cutting up onions, carrots, peppers. It was really fun. Thank you for inviting me and letting me learn how to make new stuff.”
Support These Programs
In Dubuque County, 12% of residents are food insecure – which is about 11,000 people. Of those only 6% are eligible for certain food and family assistance. Which means we have about 5% or just about 5,000 people who do not have reliable access to food, but are not eligible for public assistance.
These are the people that Convivium strives to help. Your donation helps us be able to offer more educational opportunities and resources for the food insecure youth and adults in our community.
Convivium Urban Farmstead is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization whose mission is to create community around all aspects of food. Your patronage helps support our non-profit activities.