Eastside High School students prepare healthy meal kits for families in need

Daily 5 am morning newscast recording.
Published: Mar. 16, 2021 at 7:18 AM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

To keep up with the latest local news subscribe to our TV20 newsletter HERE and receive news straight to your email every morning.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - Students in Eastside High Schools Culinary Arts Program prepare HelloFresh style meal kits to give to families in need.

Over 250 meals are distributed to families in Alachua County each week in boxes consisting of three different recipes prepared. Families are then able to cook the healthy meals themselves from home.

RELATED STORY: Alachua County Public Schools expands free meals program

Eastside’s Institute of Culinary Arts Director, Pamela Bedford, said she’s received great feedback from the families receiving the meals.

“They loved it it was simple, easy to prepare the dishes were something they could feed their whole family which was the goal to make something an elementary school member and a grandmother could enjoy so they’ve done well with incorporating recipes that can feed the masses,” said Bedford.

“We are gathering the ingredients for these meal kits and placing them in the bags and the meal recipes, the measurements and making sure everything is at a quality standard that we send out to these families,” said Bedford.

This is all part of a study by the University of Florida aiming to increase nutritional habits in economically disadvantaged areas.

RELATED STORY: University of Florida study researches coffee plant growth in NCFL

Eastside High School was the pilot school for the program, which is now expanding due to its success. A school in Putnam County is now participating and a school in Orlando is expected to join in this fall.

This program not only helps families in need but gives students handson experience in the kitchen as well.

“They love the feeling of being able to help someone else and they know what these recipes are doing,” said Bedford. “Some of my students participated in the the first time around so they really are invested because they know how much they loved it and how much fun it was to get those meals and to be able to cook with their family.”

Bedford says she hopes this could one-day become a state-wide program.

Copyright 2021 WCJB. All rights reserved. Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.