Rural Ministry receives state award

At the annual Hunger Prevention and Nutrition Assistance Program Con-ference, the Chautauqua County Rural Ministry received a State Award for its Cooking and Nutrition Program by providing nutrition education and promoting the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. ‘

The program offers workshops, which are held throughout each month and are open to the public.

The state Department of Health, in partnership with organizations that serve the hungry, is dedicated to improving the health and nutritional status of people in need of food assistance in state. The program accomplishes this for hungry people and food assistance providers by enhancing the accessibility and availability of safe, nutritious food and food related resources; developing and providing comprehensive nutrition education programs; assessing customer needs and hunger-related issues to strengthen the program effectiveness; and empowering hungry people to increase their independence from emergency food assistance programs.

The Health Department’s mission clearly aligns with Rural Ministry’s mission that all people are deserving of adequate food, clothing, shelter and work opportunity by which to acquire basic necessities. This is done through the programs they operate, which include: the Friendly Kitchen, an emergency food pantry, food recovery program, gleaning project, countywide warehouse, Shop Thru Program, emergency housing units, a thrift store and a furniture gallery. In addition to funding from state Department of Health Division of Nutrition, United Way of Northern Chautauqua County also provides support to supplement the program operations. United Way advances the common good by creating opportunities for a better life for all. Their focus is on education, income and health because these are the building blocks for a good quality life. They recruit organizations and people from all across the community who bring passion, expertise and resources needed to get things done. Chautauqua County Rural Ministry and United Way have a strong foundation in the community and strive to address the unmet needs in the community.

Cooking and Nutrition Principles include use of a wide range of vegetables and fruits that are fresh, local and as organic as possible; encouraging attendees to use whole grains over refined grains whenever possible; choosing unrefined sweeteners (fruit, honey, maple, agave) over sugar; use of a variety of protein sources, including beans, nuts and seafood, more often; and whenever possible to cook from scratch. Inspiring, educating and empowering families and individuals – previous workshops include: The Taste of Soul Food, Italian Mealtime Benefits, Cooking for Mom, Benefits of Raw Honey, Preserving the Apple Harvest, just to name a few.

If you have a special dish or program you would like to share with approximately 35 guests, please contact Hannah at 366-1787. You can visit our website at to find information on upcoming and past workshops, and other services offered at Rural Ministry.