Opportunity Center of Owensboro Excited to Introduce New Nutrition Program
Here is a short and sweet Podcast episode that describes what it is like at this special place. It is named after former Pinocchio's Deli which was fully run by the individuals in the program back from the 1970s to 1990s.
Pinocchio's Deli was so popular and successful that it was featured in newspapers and media around the world. Patrons came from all over the tri-state to enjoy the food prepared there and support the initiative which provided employment opportunities and training. I remember when it moved to the old Kingfisher boat building. I thought it was so cool!
While Pinocchio's has been closed since 1996, the Opportunity Center still strives to create innovative programming. Which is why they are excited to announce a new nutrition program for their clients. My friend, Ashley Vanover, is now the Nutrition Program Manager and she invited me to visit for a sneak peek yesterday.
This has been their first official week and it is already a huge hit. Folks receive breakfast, lunch, and a snack that is prepared there on site by participants with the help of a couple of support staff including DSP/Nutrition Program Assistant, Charity Charles. Similar to school lunch programs, all meals have balanced options with protein, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and milk. This is all free of charge thanks to a Federal reimbursement initiative.
They are using these first few weeks to see what works best for everyone involved. Any client at the Opportunity Center who wants to help is added to the schedule for prepping and cooking food, serving, and cleaning up afterward. These are all valuable skills that participants can hopefully use when they leave the center and go to their homes or if they want to find a job at a local restaurant.
Those working in the O.C. Kitchen are paid for their time as well, which they are all thrilled about. In fact, Ashley said she has never worked in a kitchen where folks are so eager and happy to help wash dishes!
The participants will also get to have a say in creating the menus. Here is an example of what they will be having this month. Efforts are of course made to ensure inclusivity in every way.
Here is a close-up of the delicious breakfast pizzas they had yesterday!