CELEBRATING HEALTH WITH SENIORS ON JUNETEENTH

CHEF PASSIONATE ABOUT NUTRITION, SHARES CULINARY SKILLS WITH SENIORS AT A COOKING DEMONSTRATION USING PRODUCE GIVEN OUT THAT DAY

“Cooking brings people together…”

Fresh fruit and vegetables make the most delicious and healthy meals. Chicago Chef and Corporate and Community Relations Manager, Cory Morris has been busy putting his skills to good use. Using his 23 years of cooking experience, Morris is hosting cooking demonstrations at the Meals on Wheels Chicago’s Nourish Chicago Pop-Up Produce Markets at Regional City Senior Centers. The aim is to utilize the fresh and vibrant offerings available at the market and educate seniors on how to prepare delicious and nutritious dishes.

To celebrate Juneeenth, Chef Morris is offering a cooking demonstration to seniors at The Northeast Levy Center at 1pm on Friday, June 16th, and will feature take-home grocery bags so seniors may cook the dish at home. This demonstration not only provides valuable culinary knowledge but also encourages seniors to incorporate healthy eating habits into their daily lives.

In May 2022 Meals on Wheels Chicago opened Nourish Chicago Pantry to support seniors struggling with food insecurity, and in March 2023 launched the Nourish Chicago Pop Up Produce Markets! These events feature a wide variety of fresh, high-quality produce, and now, thanks to Morris, healthy recipes and menus to help seniors maximize the food’s nutritional value.

This expansion is part of a continued effort to put health on the pantry shelf for seniors. Nourish Chicago Pantry advances Meals on Wheels Chicago’s mission to improve quality of life and maximize independence for seniors in our community. The cost of food and limited transportation to full-stock grocery stores can limit a senior’s access to fresh fruits and vegetables, and seniors living on a fixed income are often forced to choose between food, medicine, and the cost of housing. With the added pressure of inflation, food costs rising sharply, and the recent end of COVID-19 emergency SNAP benefits, many seniors in our community are making difficult financial decisions and forgoing trips to the grocery store.

Morris has always been passionate about helping seniors. Before joining the Meals on Wheels Chicago staff, Morris served as Volunteer Chef Lead at Celebrity Chef Ball, a unique fine-dining and culinary event that raises critical funds for Meals on Wheels Chicago’s home meal delivery program and Nourish Chicago Pantry.

Morris encouraged donors to support the mission, and highlighted that food is essential in many ways. “Chefs know the importance of a meal thoughtfully prepared. You are not only nourishing a person’s body, you are nourishing their soul,” said Morris.

Now, Morris is bringing his cooking expertise directly to seniors. Food brings people together, and sharing a meal boosts community building. These cooking demonstrations are about creating a community around food, while also educating seniors on the best way to cook, prepare, and serve the fresh produce offerings!