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Preparing Affordable Meals


After her separation, Emma struggled to raise a five-year-old boy on her own. The hardest part was having enough money for food until the end of the month. It broke her heart to see her hungry son who was too young to understand. She felt she was failing him.

Through a friend, Emma discovered a United Wayfunded cooking program that helps adults to cook healthy, inexpensive meals. At her first cooking session, the group learned to make a healthy, delicious lunch that they ate together.

While they cooked and ate their food, they shared their experiences and frustrations. Other women were in the same predicament as Emma.

Emma always returned from cooking sessions with enough food for two or three meals. Her son was curious about the new “goodies” Mama brought home. Soon, he was watching over her shoulder when she cooked at home.

The cooking program helped Emma learn how to prepare nutritious, affordable meals. She did not have to worry all the time about having enough food for her son. In addition, her son developed good eating habits and was interested in helping her to prepare the food.

Most importantly, the program offered a space for her voice to be heard. Emma received acknowledgement from the group that she was not failing her son. It is hard to ensure healthy, regular meals as a single parent on a low income. Now, she had a few extra carrots up her sleeve to help them get by.