The Oklahoma State University team that developed and leads the Cooking for Kids program was recognized with a 2019 Priester Award at the National Health Outreach Conference in Fort Worth, Texas, on May 2.
The purpose of the Priester awards is to honor extension programs that positively impact the health of people across the U.S. Given to sound and innovative health and wellness programs at the county, state and national level, the awards are named for Jeanne M. Priester. Priester was a leader in advancing health education within the Cooperative Extension Service during her tenure at the United States Department of Agriculture.
Cooking for Kids invests in Oklahoma school nutrition programs and the individuals who oversee and deliver them in order to increase the availability of freshly prepared food, feed more children and expand public support for child nutrition programs. Cooking for Kids offers consultations and resources at no cost to schools. Cooking for Kids was chosen in the Priester awards “Innovative” category, which honors projects that employ new methods and/or go beyond traditional programming to address an identified need in the community.
Nutritional sciences associate professor Deana Hildebrand serves as the Cooking for Kids project director and Cass Ring is the project manager. The team also includes nutritional sciences associate professor and food specialist Barbara Brown, evaluation coordinator Jennie Till, senior consulting chef Tiffany Poe as well as chef Callie Farrish and chef Bill Harris.
The program is funded by the Oklahoma State Department of Education Child Nutrition Services, USDA flow-through funds.
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