Thank you, The Highlander, for this great write-up of our partnering with other nonprofits on this community-minded Thanksgiving Dinner outreach. Photo courtesy The Highlander
“Big Brothers Big Sisters of Cashiers-Highlands has partnered with Circles of Cashiers-Glenville and Uncomplicated Kitchen of Sylva to bring two “Thanksgiving on a budget” classes to residents and families on the Highlands-Cashiers Plateau.
The classes, the first of which was held on Nov. 1, is a collaborative effort between BBBS and Circles to bring culinary education resources to the plateau. The collaboration was inspired by the fact that both organizations had a similar wish to bring a program such as this to the Cashiers community.
“This is brand new,” Big Brothers Big Sisters of Cashiers-Highlands Programs Director Danielle Hernadez said. “What was funny is I had reached out to [Uncomplicated Kitchen founder and executive director] Jenna [Kranz] months ago, and we were trying to figure out some type of way that we could collaborate together to offer something specific for the kids and BBBS. Well, apparently, Mary Jane had also reached out to her to do something for Circles. So, since we’re in the same place and requesting that type of experience at the same time, it just kind of made sense to try and do it together and then also use that as an opportunity for recruitment and exposure for both programs.”
The two classes are designed to teach attendees not only important kitchen skills, such as how to properly use a knife, but they also aim to educate people on how to cook easy and delicious meals at an affordable price using locally grown foods, while also highlighting the importance of understanding where your food comes from.
The classes are taught by Kranz, whose non-profit aims to help move as many people as possible away from food insecurity by showing them that healthy food is simple and affordable.
“We have our ‘Success 360’ program that we’re rolling out and having [that educational piece on] those kitchen skills and the understanding of where the food comes from, is what it’s all about for Big Brothers Big Sisters,” Hernandez said. “[Kranz] is very passionate about where your food comes from, and moving from food insecurity to food security, and so being able to touch on that with her nutrition background, it’s kind of just that guiding piece for all of this.”
The second and final class for the “Thanksgiving on a Budget” program will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 15 from 4:30-6 p.m. at Cashiers United Methodist Church. The classes are completely free and open to all ages. Registration is not required.
Hernandez said that she hopes that these classes will not only help educate community members on how to create delicious and affordable meals, but that they will also provide an opportunity for attendees to be exposed to resources that they may not have been aware of, such as BBBS, Circles and Uncomplicated Kitchen. She also said that BBBS is always in need of volunteers and she hopes that programs such as this will inspire more people to be involved with the work being done at Big Brothers Big Sisters.
“We’re desperately needing volunteers right now,” Hernandez said. “We’ve got quite a few kids who were on our waiting list, and some of them had been waiting for close to a year and we just don’t have the volunteers for it. So, we’re always reaching out if anybody has an interest at all in working with kids.”