Saturday, February 23, 2013

Microgreens: Healthy in a SNAP

by Amanda Brashears
Capital Cooking Contributor

In case you are not familiar with the program, MicroGreens works with schools and non-profit organizations to educate children and low-income families on how to make healthy choices based on a government-supplemented food budget (SNAP). Offering a class a week over an eight week period, MicroGreens fellows showcase how anyone can shop for, prepare, and enjoy a healthy meal based on a total budget of $3.50 per meal per family of four.

MicroGreens is the project of D.C.-based “chef-preneur” Alli Sosna, who partners with several national groups to promote healthy food in schools – including the Partnership for a Healthier America – and has participated in conversations around food access and health at the White House on multiple occasions. 

I was honored to attend class at Shaw Middle School during week 7 when the students, who are part of the after school program, prepared pulled pork sandwiches with pickled carrots. Throughout the entire lesson students were reminded the cost of each ingredient they were using.

Using donated cutting boards, knives and aprons, the students began by separating the pork. 

Followed by cutting and pickling the carrots.
Each student gets to take home (or enjoy after the lesson) a container of their hard work.
The final week of the Microgreens program was highlighted by a ‘Top CHEAP Chef’ competition with guest judge Chef Nathan Anda of Red Apron Butchery. Students were divided into four groups and competed in knife skills, portion control, searing, and quartering a chicken.
The winner of each area received a nice take home gift.
After the competition was over each student received a certificate and gift bag full of donated items.
This spring Microgreens has expanded their program to include Shaw Middle School, Paul Middle School, and CW Harris School in DC. As well as further expanding to reach schools in Philadelphia and Newark, NJ.

To learn more about Microgreens, to make a donation, or to get further information on becoming a fellow, please got to Microgreens.

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