Pittsboro, NC – Chatham County Public Libraries is excited to announce the award of a $17,000 Food Literacy Center grant from the State Library of North Carolina.
In partnership with the Chatham County Public Health Department and the N.C. Cooperative Extension – Chatham County Center, Chatham County Public Libraries has received a grant to purchase a mobile teaching kitchen and curriculum to advance food literacy programming at all library branches. Instruction will be held monthly and will be conducted by staff from the N.C. Cooperative Extension – Chatham County Center and the Chatham County Public Health Department.
The teaching kitchen is the product of the Charlie Cart Project based in Berkeley, CA, and is designed to promote food literacy programming that focuses on food, health, and the environment. The teaching kitchen includes a convection oven and induction cooktop, a stainless-steel sink with spray nozzle pump and grey water recovery, storage for pots, pans, dishes and lesson plans, and a power and electrical system optimal for instruction. The portable kitchen will be used primarily at Wren Memorial Library in Siler City.
The first event as part of this program will be about eating healthy to lower blood pressure on Monday, January 30 at 6 p.m. at Wren Memorial Library.
According to the Charlie Cart Project, food literacy is defined as understanding the impact of people’s food choices on their health, environment, and economy – and understanding that their impacts are not experienced equitably.
“We want to empower our community members to make informed food choices,” said Linda Clarke, Chatham County Libraries Director. “The teaching kitchen will be a great tool to increase residents’ accessibility to the knowledge they need to make these choices.”
“Our food system is complicated and much of the burden falls on the consumer to make healthy choices. This food literacy grant is an opportunity to provide interactive food programs to educate Chatham residents in making informed decisions for their health and wellbeing,” added Tara Gregory, Extension Agent for the N.C. Cooperative Extension – Chatham County Center.
Laura Hearn, Registered Dietitian with the Chatham County Public Health Department, also expressed her enthusiasm. “We’re thrilled that the library is receiving this grant. This program is a productive collaboration that also offers the public an easy way to learn about healthy foods, proper nutrition, and reducing the risk of chronic conditions. As public health dietitians, we are very excited about the potential impact for this program on the well-being of residents,” said Hearn.
The food literacy center grant is made possible by funding from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) as administered by the State Library of North Carolina, a division of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (IMLS grant number LS-252476-OLS-22).
For more information about this program, individuals may contact Tabatha Weaver at (919) 742-2016 or email . Information about all Chatham County Library branches can be found at chathamlibraries.org.