WASHINGTON, DC (January 6, 2011) – Learning how to prepare wholesome, portion-controlled meals on a budget is a challenge for many, but even more so for those in crisis and struggling to avoid homelessness.
“Obesity and diabetes are major health issues facing this nation. They are costly to our country, and affect communities and families everywhere, especially the women at risk we work with every day,” said Mary Funke, Ed.D, president of N Street Village. “Poor health can create significant barriers for homeless and low-income women who are seeking to stabilize their lives, driving multiple absences from work and higher health care costs. For long-term health and well being, it’s important that we address these issues just as we do drug and alcohol addiction, mental illness, and other challenges faced by the women we serve.”
Food Network and N Street Village co-hosted a workshop on Thursday for women transitioning to independent living to assist them in making life-changing food choices. The women – many of whom are making the move from N Street Village’s transitional housing to their own rental apartment, permanent supportive housing or reuniting with family – received advice from Food Network’s Sunny Anderson for stocking the pantry with wholesome ingredients, ways to lighten classic recipes and small, affordable changes in meal preparation that can make an important difference. Anderson is the host of Cooking for Real, an instructional series featuring uncomplicated dishes with affordable, easy-to-find ingredients on Food Network.
The workshop also covered another related topic – portion control. Food Network announced at the workshop that it will provide the funding for new, portion-controlled food trays for use at N Street Village, which serves meals to over 100 women each day.
“This is another important step toward helping our clients gain control of their health and their lives,” said Funke.
The primary social causes for Food Network and its companion network, Cooking Channel, focus on fighting childhood hunger and educating consumers on nutritious eating to avoid obesity and other health problems. Share Our Strength is the national non-profit partner of the popular lifestyle networks on these critical social fronts.
“Hunger and obesity may seem to be on opposite sides of the health spectrum, yet they often are closely related,” said Anderson, who demonstrated a light and budget-conscious menu of baked chicken drummettes and green bean stir fry during the workshop. “Access to wholesome, home-cooked, nutritious food is a shared solution to these problems and is key to improving the lives of children and adults across the country.”
Food Network is a top 10 cable network seen in more than 100,000 U.S. households. The network has partnered with Share Our Strength on a national marketing campaign in support of No Kid Hungry, with the goal of ending childhood hunger in the U.S. by 2015. Additionally, Food Network and Share Our Strength have established 23 Good Food Gardens at schools and family centers across the country as a hands-on educational means to teach students and their families how to grow, harvest and prepare fresh vegetables and fruits.
N Street Village is a community of empowerment and recovery for homeless and low-income women in Washington, D.C. With comprehensive services addressing both emergency and long-term needs, it helps nearly half of the city’s homeless women achieve personal stability and make gains in their housing, income, employment, mental health, physical health, and addiction recovery.