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Cooking Up the Future

Team members: Row 1 (l-r): Marcus Morgan, Nicole Wood, Lisa Knight, Tamela Spann
Row 2 (l-r): Ethan Friddle, Julie Eddy, Carl Sobocinski
Not pictured: Tom Claybaugh, Bill Gay

Cooking Up the Future seeks to alleviate some of the issues surrounding social mobility in Greenville. Greenville County is ranked twenty-fourth out of all the counties in the country for difficulty in terms of social mobility. The group identified an organization effecting important community change, Mill Village Farms, as a partner for the capstone project. Mill Village Farms has a paid summer internship program for high school students; the program is focused on students who come from low-income backgrounds. In order to prepare students for real-world job experiences, the internship program involves an application process involving references and an interview. Twenty students are selected to work on the farm and learn about local food processes, health and wellness, and financial literacy.

Cooking Up the Future decided to plug into the wellness piece of the internship program. In conjunction with Do All Things with Joy and Mill Village Farms, Cooking Up the Future developed a curriculum for healthy eating and wellness to teach to Mill Village interns. Table 301 chefs have dedicated time to healthy meal preparation demonstrations, and a grocery store tour involving shopping and wellness tips has been planned. Recipe cards with accessible ingredients will be distributed to the students so that they can take the experience of making healthy meals home to their families. Cooking Up the Future group members will take turns teaching the health and wellness curriculum to the student interns, preparing meals with them, and leading “lunch and learns” during which students can ask about career and personal paths. This capstone project aims to be sustainable so that future Mill Village Farms interns can continue to receive high-caliber experiences.