Pittsburg summer learning program hosts healthy cooking class

Pittsburg summer learning program hosts healthy cooking class
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If it’s fresh and organic, Jill Campbell has likely turned it into a meal.

Now, the Pittsburg resident is bringing her love of healthy cooking to four-state kids.

“We got involved with this program to teach students the difference between fixing their own food from fresh products compared to the preservatives and nitrites and things they would get from their food if they got it prepared,” said Campbell, a teacher and organizer for the Pittsburg Farmers’ Market.

Campbell has teamed up with FAME, a summer learning program at Pittsburg Middle School, to teach kids how to prepare healthy meals from scratch, using local ingredients

“Basically, we’re trying to show the kids that they can go to the farmers market, buy some produce that is fresh, all organic, and it’s about the same price that they would pay for at the store,” said Tami Brinegar, FAME coordinator.

On Monday mornings, Campbell brings a planned menu and bundle of just-picked goods, from greens to garlic.

“Maybe they’ve never had a salad with a bunch of fresh vegetables on it, they may have been, you know, just bag salad and things like that, so this something they’re will to try when they make it themselves,” said Brinegar.

Some students say they enjoy making things from scratch and plan to make them at home.

“I think it’s fun because I never usually get to do it, we usually just buy the store-bought salad, so I think it’s fun,” said student Havanna Robinson.

While others are still deciding if they’ll make the meals again.

“Probably, if my mom lets me,” said student Gary Michael Carrell.

As for those who are wary of vegetables, Campbell has one bit of advice.

“Just try it! if you don’t like it, we’ll try something else later,”

The FAME program is funded by a 21st century learning grant.