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Penn State Extension to host soup making program

SHENANDOAH — A hot bowl of homemade soup is a welcome meal in cold weather, and Penn State Cooperative Extension will present a program in the borough on Saturday on how to make soup.

As part of the Healthy Shenandoah initiative, PSE nutrition education adviser Cyndi Clayton will visit the American Legion Anthony P. Damato “Medal of Honor” Post 792, 116 N. Main St., from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. to present the Soup ‘n’ Safety program.

“I’m going to do a cooking demonstration on preparing soups that are low-cost meals,” Clayton said. “I’m also going to be teaching a food safety lesson from the Penn State Nutrition Links program. I work with the EFNEP program, which is new to Schuylkill County.”

Clayton plans to cook a pot of 15-Minute Soup at the workshop. She will provide copies of that recipe and for another soup, hearty beef and vegetable.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture website, the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program is designed to assist limited resource audiences in acquiring the knowledge, skills, attitudes and changed behavior necessary for nutritionally sound diets, and to contribute to their personal development and the improvement of the total family diet and nutritional well-being.

Clayton said Penn State Extension is offering hands-on educational classes on nutrition through its Nutrition Links program. The program is designed to help families and individuals with low incomes stretch their food dollars to achieve a healthy diet. Nutrition Links staff teach families with young children, older adults and youth through a variety of program styles.

The Nutrition Links’ adult series offers topics such as food preparation, meal planning, food storage and sanitation, shopping skills, nutrition for family members and managing a healthy weight. The program is taught in small groups, led by a nutrition education adviser, who is part of the Schuylkill Extension staff. Sessions, which are free, are held in community centers, homes, churches and a variety of other sites.

Nutrition Links, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and administered by PSE, does not supply free food or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits. Rather, it provides participants with activities that develop the knowledge and skills to plan and prepare a healthful diet on a limited budget.

“The program on Saturday is open to the public so people can meet me and find out about the programs offered by our extension office,” Clayton said.

She said that God’s Chuckwagon may attend the event. The mobile soup kitchen goes to sites in the county and will soon come to Shenandoah on a weekly basis. Clayton said if the ministry cannot attend, there will be a display inside with information on the Shamokin-based mission.

“Basically, Saturday will be the introduction of the EFNEP program to Schuylkill County,” Clayton said. “We’ll teach how to plan meals, save money and make healthier decisions in nutrition.”

For more information, call 570-369-8708. To register, call 570-622-6097. Walk-ins are welcome as space permits.

Clayton said there are two free workshop series of classes scheduled in the near future for people to learn how to save at the store while improving the family’s budget and health. The average family in Pennsylvania can save $100 a month after attending the workshop series. Sample recipes are prepared in each class and graduation prizes are awarded on the final date.

The two locations and dates are:

• Shenandoah Area Free Public Library, 15 W. Washington St., Shenandoah, from 3 to 5 p.m. April 6, 7, 13 and 14

• Lori’s Angels, 25 W. Main St., Schuylkill Haven, from 10 a.m. to noon April 7, 8, 14 and 15.

Clayton will present both workshops. To preregister, text or call 570-369-8708 or email [email protected] To qualify to attend, a person must take care of a child under 20 years of age and meet the certain income guidelines.

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