By Rod Rose
St. Francis-in-the-Fields Episcopal Church in Zionsville recently donated cash, slow cookers, utensils and cookbooks to The Caring Center, Lebanon, for graduates of the organization’s Cooking Club.
“St. Francis-in-the-Fields has been wonderful,” The Caring Center’s executive director Theresa Hanners said. “They have been a wonderful partner in this journey of ours.”
Following a Nov. 3 crockpot dinner, St. Francis-in-the-Fields parishioners raised $500 in cash, enough money to buy 27 slow cookers and an assortment of kitchen utensils. The crockpot dinner featured foods from appetizers to desserts, all of which had been made in slow cookers.
Akard True Value Hardware in Zionsville provided the 27 slow cookers at a substantial discount, the church said.
Parishioners also collected their favorite slow cooker recipes, which were put into a cookbook for the graduates.
Anyone is welcome to participate in Cooking Club, Hanners said. There are 16 members, who meet at 6 p.m. on the first Tuesday of the month for a support group, and at 6 p.m. on the third Tuesday for cooking classes. Meetings are at The Caring Center, 1230 Ransdell Court, Lebanon. Graduates receive a slow cooker and kitchen utensils.
“We would like to see more people there,” Hanners said. Since the Cooking Club was established in November 2011, participants have cut their food spending 28 percent, she said.
“We focus on food insecurity and stretching the food dollar,” Hanners said. “We talk a lot about using coupons.”
Most members are women but men are welcome “It’s free and there are incentives,” Hanners said. “It’s just a good place to meet new friends and learn new skills.”
The Caring Center is also working with Holly M. Catron, a family nutrition program assistant with Purdue Extension’s Boone County office, Hanners said.
The Family Nutrition Program Catron is teaching at The Caring Center is designed to help people with limited resources improve the quality of their meals through nutrition and meal planning, buying and preparing food, cooking safely, and managing other resources, according to Purdue Extension’s web site.
Call 765-482-2020 for more information about the Cooking Club or other Caring Center programs.