Do you ever want to make a list of all of the ways that public libraries change lives? Have you ever considered putting “empowering people to eat healthier” on that list? After all, cooking a meal for yourself is beneficial on multiple levels: it brings emotional wellness, is gratifying, and gives you confidence!
This story caught my eye, and granted, it took place in a San Francisco library, but why not Minnesota?
It all started with the Edible Schoolyard, a 1-acre organic garden with an adjacent kitchen classroom at Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School in Berkeley. There, students learned the basics of cooking, like peeling a carrot. Even college students often do not realize how food is grown, and even more people experience a disconnect between healthy food and how to cook it. And, the good news is, the public library has scads of books about cooking and gardening!
Is it possible that your public library has a staff member who was a past chef, or is pretty handy in the kitchen? Does your town or city have a Farmers Market, where the library could wheel in a sweet mobile kitchen called a Charlie Cart, built just for this purpose? Could the Charlie Cart be used in another area of the library…it has burners, an oven and utensils so you could show library patrons how to cook, offer them samples of what you prepared, and provide a list of cookbooks they could check out from the library too! I simply love this whole idea….
Image credit: https://unsplash.com/ (Monstruo Estudio), licensed under CC0 1.0