Urban Eats will partner with St. Anthony Food Pantry and other local organizations to create the Urban Eats Healthy Kitchen, where volunteers will prepare and provide fresh meal kits to people in need. The project addresses multiple needs pertaining to food insecurity in the Dutchtown neighborhood:
Providing Access to Quality Foods
The program will bring healthy, ready-to-cook food to people who otherwise can’t get fresh produce and other ingredients due to expense or inaccessibility. Most of Dutchtown qualifies as a food desert—low income residents have limited access to reliable sources of healthy food. With few nearby supermarkets, many of our neighbors can’t get the basic necessities to put together a balanced meal.
Additionally, the Urban Eats Healthy Kitchen will help bring attention to St. Anthony Food Pantry, an invaluable neighborhood resource, but one that not everyone is aware of. The program will help the food pantry to expand its outreach mission which serves residents of the 63111, 63116, and 63118 zip codes.
Reducing Food Waste
Production of the meal kits will use surplus produce and other items from St. Anthony Food Pantry, Find Your Farmer (operating from Urban Eats Kitchen Incubator), and other providers, reducing food waste. Urban Eats can then leverage their expansive commercial kitchen space and network of local culinary professionals to turn these resources into healthy meals for neighbors who don’t have the time, tools, or ability to prepare fresh meals for themselves.
Teaching Healthy Meal Prep
Volunteer chefs from the Original Crusoe’s, Juanita’s Creole Soul Café (located in the Urban Eats Neighborhood FoodHall), and others will also coach neighbors on how to prepare healthy meals on their own. Even when given access to better foods, a lot of people simply don’t have the experience or know-how to turn those foods into a meal. Volunteers will help impart that knowledge, leading to healthier and more affordable options for neighbors in need. As the folks at St. Anthony put it, they will “teach a man to fish.”
We’re very excited for this endeavor to come to the Dutchtown neighborhood! Partnering long-standing Dutchtown businesses, new neighborhood enterprises, and a crucial neighborhood resource to serve our neighbors in need is the kind of synergy we love to see. The project has strong community support from the Dutchtown Community Improvement District, DT2 • Downtown Dutchtown, and 25th Ward Alderman Shane Cohn. We’re proud to see Dutchtown businesses and organizations committing to missions of community service within the neighborhood exemplified by the Urban Eats Healthy Kitchen.