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Retail Foodservice

A New Offering for Grocerants

New York-based Open Kitchen hosts classes on how to cook nutritious food inexpensively

The Lempert Report

Many supermarkets offer in-store cooking classes. The concept was started and very successful in King’s Supermarkets in New Jersey well over 30 years ago. It was founded by Joanna Preuss, now a renowned cookbook author.

Here’s a different twist that supermarkets, especially with grocerants, might want to consider. Open Kitchen is a New York-based program that hosts a series of classes on how to cook nutritious food inexpensively. It is a student-led initiative to combat campus food insecurity.

Share Meals, an app created to allow students to share meal swaps that has since turned into a food insecurity-fighting business, hosted the event in the Kimmel Center for University Life. In the first class, Steinhardt Food Studies and Nutrition major Abe Konick taught students how to cook a simple spaghetti sauce, which incorporated carrots, peppers, garlic and other healthy ingredients.

“It’s important because you need to rely on yourself,” Konick said. “You can’t just rely on restaurants or things like that, especially if you don’t have the funds in order to do so. What we’re trying to incorporate with the Open Kitchen is [to] show [students] that there’s cheap alternatives.”

The food is donated by Misfits Market, which sells fresh produce that won’t sell on the market due to blemishes at a discount. Utensils and plates are donated by NYU Dining Services, and equipment is funded through the food studies program.

 A great idea, not just for students but for every shopper. Check it out.

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