Cooking Demonstration

DOORWAYS’ Residential Program operates seven housing facilities providing 103 one, two, or three bedroom apartments for individuals and families affected by HIV/AIDS, and also homeless or about to become homeless. As a result of generational poverty or more recent circumstances, many clients have limited income, education, and employment experience.  Without stable housing, they have not been able to manage their healthcare and medical treatment program, and may have deteriorating health and a growing sense of hopelessness. When they move into a DOORWAYS apartment, they not only receive a key to an apartment but, also, a comprehensive support network with case management and self-development programs that improve health and hopefulness.

Good nutrition is the key to strengthening the body and the immune system, both which are essential for a successful antiretroviral therapy (ART) program. Reducing viral load counts, and reaching viral suppression, significantly reduces the chances of transmitting the virus; thus, increasing participation in nutritious shopping, cooking, and eating habits is critical to achieve a healthy life for our individual clients, as well as our community.

Thanks to a grant from the Episcopal Presbyterian Health Trust, DOORWAYS is offering a series of healthy cooking classes for residents in our apartment complexes through Operation Food Search. The course offers educational information about healthy eating and cooking, while demonstrating the preparation and cooking of a healthy recipe. Attendees were able to taste the food, ask questions, and discuss recipe modifications for their family members. They then received a copy of the recipe plus the groceries needed to duplicate the meal themselves in their own home. Each participant also received a complimentary piece of cookware to assure they would be able to fix the food for their families.

All guests were asked to complete a survey after the class, to determine the impact of the session and expectations of behavior change. Ninety percent indicated their understanding increased about how good nutrition helps the immune system fight viruses by strengthening the body. One hundred percent noted they now plan to include healthy foods in their diets more often than before they attended the session. “We are very grateful to the Episcopal Presbyterian Health Trust,” noted Opal Jones, president & CEO of DOORWAYS. “This type of interactive health information session and cooking demonstration would not have been possible without their grant, which encourages innovative models for health care approaches.”

Additional cooking demonstration classes will be held throughout 2018, along with several sessions simulating a shopping trip to the grocery store to reveal ways to purchase fresh, nutritious foods on a limited budget. For more information on this grant, contact the DOORWAYS development office: 314-555-1919 ext 2704. d
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