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Above, Garrick Brown shares healthy food tips at Reiche Elementary.

Attendees at recent Wayside meals have been treated to cooking demonstrations and healthy recipe sharing thanks to the efforts of SNAP-Ed’s Garrick Brown and Emma Veilleux.

Armed with healthy ingredients and a skillet and a blender, Garrick and Emma have been sharing tasty examples of healthy cooking at Wayside’s Community Meals and kids’ meals, including Reiche Elementary School.

“We are working to share a message that cooking healthy doesn’t have to be expensive,” says Garrick.

SNAP-Ed, funded by the USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, works hand-in-hand with Healthy Portland to promote healthy eating habits.

The goal is to “educate Maine SNAP recipients on low cost, healthy eating and active lifestyles.”

Garrick says the response at the Community Meals has been great, with the demonstrations leading to conversations about recipe ideas and tips for cutting down costs for accessing healthy food. For example, healthy ways to use canned vegetables and frozen fruit have been covered.

“The Community Meals are a great place for us to share,” says Garrick. “The reception has been terrific. The meals are comfortable, and people seem happy to see us.”

He notes that healthy smoothies were a big hit with children at the Reiche meal.

Garrick said Healthy Portland will be visiting more meals this summer and plans more outreach to children.

* To learn about Healthy Portland

* To learn about SNAP-Ed

* For SNAP-Ed’s healthy recipes