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Enactus SLC program teaches elementary students how to cook from scratch

2014-12-18, 9:01 AM

“Slow Cookers for Kids” is a pilot project that teaches elementary students kitchen fundamentals, how to cook in a healthy manner and within a budget. “Food Cents”, a program run by Enactus St. Lawrence College, empowers 11 and 12 year-olds to be confident chefs, helping them and their families to eat and be healthy for life.

Grade 8 students from four Limestone District School Board schools, First Avenue, Frontenac, Rideau Heights, and J.G. Simcoe Public Schools, will learn how to prepare and purchase nutritious meals. They will use recipes from Enactus' recently published cookbook, Recipes for an Empty Wallet, which features recipes for slow cookers. At the end of the sessions, students will know how to cook slow cooker meals, the kitchen fundamentals, and each student will get their own slow cooker to use at home.

Enactus SLC created the “Food Cents” program to support short and long-term sustainable hunger relief programs. The “Food Cents” program, including Recipes for an Empty Wallet, acknowledges the pricing and budget constraints that students and community members face. These constraints make it extremely difficult for people to eat healthily while staying within budget. The cookbooks (now in its fourth edition) are in fact a manual that educates readers about nutrition, food preparation, and effective grocery shopping.

Chef Professor Thomas Elia, who designed “Slow Cookers for Kids” in consultation with Enactus SLC, says the slow cooker is the perfect tool for youth to learn the basics of cooking and use it throughout their lives. "The use of a slow cooker enables a family to prepare simple and delicious meals from scratch, or by using various store bought ingredients. Preparation time is minimal, cleanup is easy, leftovers are simple to portion and freeze,” describes Elia. "I truly believe that if young people are taught to cook in a healthy manner and within a budget, they can have a direct and positive impact on helping their families eat more healthily and slow cooker recipes are a great way to go."

Students from Frontenac, Rideau Heights and J.G. Simcoe Public Schools will travel to First Avenue P.S. to use their technology classroom for the project.

'Slow Cookers for Kids' is a collaborative community pilot project led by Enactus SLC and supported through the School of Business at St. Lawrence College, Chef Thomas Elias and the Culinary Arts Program SLC, SPARK communications SLC, Limestone District School Board, Brown’s Food Services, and Sustainable Kingston.


About Enactus SLC

Enactus SLC is part of an international organization. The team is a community of student, academic and business leaders committed to using the power of entrepreneurial action to transform lives and shape a better more sustainable world. Their mission is to reduce poverty by creating comprehensive solutions to issues within the greater community. Through projects led by students and volunteers, Enactus strives to make a positive difference in the lives of people inside and outside of their community. The Enactus SLC team is composed of 25-45 students from a variety of programs at St. Lawrence College.

Enactus SLC seeks to make the Food Cents program, including Recipes for an Empty Wallet, available to all. The program also includes a wide variety of video tutorials to assist readers shop, cook, and eat healthily eating on a budget. The tutorials can be found on Enactus SLC’s YouTube channel, Enactus St. Lawrence College. Train-the-trainer videos and facilitation guides will soon be available to help agencies deliver the Food Cents program.  Enactus SLC continues to look for opportunities to link the book to courses and individuals who face food insecurity.

For more information, please contact:

Jane Douglas, Limestone District School Board
Communications Officer
613-544-6920 ext. 311 / 613-328-0916 mobile


Laura Tulchinsky
St. Lawrence College, Communications
613-544-5400 ext. 1291