The Cooking Matters Program: Empowering Adults with Developmental Disabilities

Cooking is a life skill that is essential for daily living. It allows us to create healthy meals that nourish our bodies and can contribute to our overall well-being. However, for individuals with developmental disabilities, kitchen safety is a major concern that often impedes their ability to cook on their own. This is where the Cooking Matters program comes in. As part of our Work Matters program, we joined together with Dare to Care‘s Cooking Matters Program to provide an opportunity for clients with developmental disabilities to learn a new skill and work towards independence.

Positive Impacts

At Seven Counties Services, we have seen firsthand the positive impact that this program has had on our clients. We’ve had 31 individuals enjoy this program so far! Many of the people we work with will not be able to live independently, but this class lessens the anxiety of creating healthy, cheap meals within their own kitchen by teaching easy-to-create meals and confidence when using a knife. This class is also a great opportunity for our lower-income clients to have at least one meal provided for them for six weeks.

Program Details

The Cooking Matters program is a six-week class that teaches easy-to-make meals and kitchen safety. After each class, participants go home with the ingredients to create the meal with pre-measured seasonings, meats, vegetables, and a detailed recipe to follow. This not only provides them with the knowledge and skills to cook but also a tangible way to practice what they’ve learned.

The interest in this program has been overwhelming, and we have added another three classes for the upcoming year! Dates for the upcoming classes are April 12th – May 24th, July 12th – August 16th, and September 13th – October 18th.  The classes will be held at the Dare to Care Community Kitchen, and we are seeking adult clients with intellectual and developmental disabilities to join. Classes are capped at 15 individuals, and we look forward to filling all of these slots!

Here are a few factors to consider when joining:

  1. Reliable transportation to and from the class is essential.
  2. Must be able to attend all six of the Cooking Matters classes.
  3. The client has an interest in healthy cooking and increasing their independence in the kitchen.
  4. Caregivers / CLS workers are welcome to assist their clients during the class.
  5. No cost for the clients to attend all six courses.
  6. After each class, participants will go home with the ingredients and recipes used to create the meal on their own.

The Cooking Matters program has been a resounding success for our clients with developmental disabilities thus far! If you or a loved one are interested in attending one of our upcoming classes, please reach out to Terry Madden, our Supported Employment Coordinator,  at tmadden@sevencounties.org or by calling (502) 396-9222. We are grateful for the opportunity to offer this program and look forward to seeing its continued success in the future.

Schedule Appointment

Seven Counties Services serves everyone regardless of diagnosis or insurance status. We ensure that getting started on your journey to recovery is as easy as possible. To schedule your first appointment, you can call directly or complete an online appointment request.

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