We are so excited to be nearly halfway to our overall project goal of $15,000 for this project! Since it's winter time, the gardening aspect of our "Garden to Table" program is in hibernation and planning mode- but program managers are working on plans to expand our gardening program to an additional house garden in the spring, and we are hoping to hire a landscaping/garden specialist to assist us with developing additional gardens at the homes we support and advising the overall gardening club component.
We had some fun over the holidays with our cooking classes, including offering special holiday treats cooking activities for the individuals currently participating in this program and opening it up to other individuals served by CSS programs. Food plays a huge part in our holiday events- we serve Thanksgiving and Christmas Day dinners to the individuals who are unable to be with family during the holidays- and we definitely had some great ideas come up about how might preserve and can garden produce this season to use year-round for meals and events such as these.
Since we started fundraising for the "Garden to Table" project on GlobalGiving, we've added new snack group classes, and dinner groups have been started here at our resource center and also in our residences. Participants use the recipes and skills they learn in their cooking classes in their homes, invite their friends, and they all enjoy a healthy, homemade meal together. I recently spent an evening in one of our homes with two of our supported individuals, Brian and Jose, and they eagerly showed me their meal plan for the week, the recipe they were going to use, and were excited to have friends over for the meal they were preparing with assistance from their support staff. It was amazing to see not only their independence in creating a healthy meal for themselves, but also to see how the skill of cooking has opened up their social opportunities as well. After all, don't we all enjoy sitting down to share a meal with friends and family? It's awesome to see that happen amongst our supported individuals as well.
I invite you to check out our digital annual report, which we wrapped up this past week- it has links to some great video of our cooking classes and gardening groups, as well as additional photos. We are always thankful for the continued support and interest in this program and our services- and we hope you will feel inspired by your impact and share this project with your friends and family! We are just $7,577 shy of our $15,000 total goal for this project, and meeting this goal will ensure this program will continue to grow steadily and adapt to the changing needs of the individuals it supports.
Thank you, on behalf of the "Garden to Table" participants, and everyone at CSS!
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