The ACS Center of Westbank United SDA Church in New Orleans, Louisiana, recently entered into a collaboration with Ochsner Foundation Healthcare System to offer children in their community 'The CHOP Toolkit'. The acronym CHOP stands for "Cooking Up Healthy Options and Portions", which complements the health message of our Church very well. The purpose of this program is to teach the children of our congregations and neighborhoods the importance of good nutrition, eating small portions, as well as learning to safely use kitchen tools.
The CHOP Toolkit is a eight-to-ten week program, providing the necessary space for teaching and cooking vegetarian meals. It will include communicating regularly with the CHOP basic staff, completing a pre and post test with participants, and providing documentation and receipts for purchases that were made through Walmart gift cards that were supplied for food supplies.
The first summer event of the CHOP program was held from June 13-July 16 at the Westbank United SDA Church. It was sponsored by Ochsner Foundation, Westbank United SDA Church, City of New Orleans Tricentennial Committee and Neighborhood Engagement, Mr. and Mrs. Earl Washington, and Colistics Pharmacy. The activity schedule included the following; 12:00 noon to 1:30 p.m - Cooking lessons and Lunch; 2:00 to 3:00 p.m - Recreation/Break; 3:15 to 4:00 p.m - Anger Management/Problem Solving; 4:00 to 4:50 p.m - Christian Grooming and Manners; and at 5:00 p.m was Dismissal.
Each child and staff member were given a study manual and an apron. The CHOP Instructor Manual was supplied by Irene H. Williams, Director of ACS Center of the Westbank United SDA Church. "The children and staff had a wonderful learning experience together. The children had fun while learning to cook and work as a team", said Ms. Williams. She is excited about this new collaborative opportunity and is looking forward to many more events like this in the future.