HAZARD — United Way of Eastern Kentucky presented a check to Farm 2 School’s seventh-grade pilot cooking class at East Perry Elementary last Monday.
The check will sponsor a tour of Sullivan University’s Culinary Department; the cooking class will also tour Food Chain, an aquaponics facility located in Lexington.
During the tour, a chef at Sullivan University will perform a cooking demonstration for the students. The students will then eat at a restaurant owned by one of the chef’s.
United Way of Eastern Kentucky Representative Scott Blair presented the check to the seventh-grade students.
“Enjoy it and make us proud,” said Blair.
Their teacher, Emily Duke, said programs such as Farm 2 Schools allows students the chance to learn how to live a healthy lifestyle, while also preparing them for high school.
Duke teaches Social Studies to this seventh-grade class.
She said students were surprised that healthy foods tasted as good or better than sugary snacks.
“It’s good we have programs such as Farm 2 Schools. It’s a great program,” said Duke.
Seventh-grader Ryland Shepherd said he wasn’t aware there was a Sullivan University until he got word they were going to tour the university’s campus.
“I might want to go there one day,” said Shepherd.
AmeriCorps VISTA Member Hannah Madden said food is an important part of eastern Kentucky culture, “I would like for them to understand ways to keep tradition and value, but to be able to make it healthy.”
Madden said she hopes some of the students will become interested in future culinary careers after taking a tour of Sullivan University.
On Tuesday, the seventh-grade class was divided into two teams. They then had a cook off against each other; the competition was similar in tone to Iron Chef. Parents and teachers were the judges in the competition.
Seventh-grader Ryan Moore said he was excited about the cook-off. His team is named Chicken Pot Pow Wows.
Moore said the competition has taught him a lot about healthy foods; he also said he enjoyed being a part of the Farm 2 School program.
“I like it, it’s amazing,” said Moore.
TJ Caudill is a reporter with The Hazard Herald. He can be reached at 606-629-3245.