Recipe Re-Mix Ohio, a Social Sprouts Ohio initiative, meets people halfway on healthy eating. Instead of recommending that people completely change what they eat, the project teaches people how to change the way they prepare the foods they eat.
The project has been piloted with a group at Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority’s (CMHA’s) Cedar Extension High Rise – a residential property for people 55 and older. Learning from them their favorite dishes, dietary concerns, and challenges to healthy cooking, the initiative created a Recipe Re-Mix of some of their favorite foods to rave reviews. The project intends to expand to include a website which will host the recipes with simple instructions and videos for those with limited reading skills.
The Recipe Re-Mix initiative has partnered with DigitalC’s Connect the Unconnected project and Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority to bring positive programming to Cleveland’s urban population.
But what about people who don’t have access to a full kitchen? A full kitchen is equipped with all the standard cooking appliances: stove, oven, refrigerator, and a way to wash dishes – a sink with hot and cold running water or automatic dishwasher.
According to the American Community Survey Fact Finder, in 2017, 39,444 housing units in Cuyahoga County lacked complete kitchen facilities (6.4% of all housing units.) If a person lacks the ability to prepare fresh and healthy meals, they are forced to eat the food that is accessible to them. As discussed in previous blogs, access to healthy eating is a barrier to more than 442,900 people in Cuyahoga County (35% of the total resident population) who live in food deserts.
Living in a food desert without a full-kitchen leaves few options for healthy eating. Thus, the cycle of obesity, diabetes, and other health concerns affected by diet are perpetuated.