Marshall University’s Dietetics program recently moved to Huntington’s Kitchen in downtown Huntington.
For those of you who don’t know, Huntington’s Kitchen is the community kitchen that Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution helped create.
"They’re learning about weighing and measuring, learning the differences between using a measurement, a dry and liquid measurement and actually measuring ingredients in terms of grams in ounces," said Amy Gannon, Assistant Professor of Dietetics.
Huntington Kitchen is now jointly operated by Cabell Huntington Hospital and the dietetics program. The university will conduct their labs in the kitchen facility and hold classes in a space above the kitchen. On this day she’s teaching a basic foods class for sophomore dietetics majors.
"What we’re going to be learning going forth are basic food techniques and basic science of foods and I think that’s important because, when we learn nutrition we learn about the science of nutrition, but the consumer eats, so we have to teach in terms of food," Gannon said.
Prior to the move, classes and labs were located in two different places. Now both are in a centralized location in downtown Huntington. Haley Whiteman is a student in the program.
"I think it’s important for dietitians to get out, not just to patients, but to the community as a whole because that’s our job to make the community a healthier place. So I think being down here allows us to be more accessible," Whiteman said.
Erika Fletcher is a student in the program as well. She said it’s an opportunity she’s excited about.
"I think it will help us learn more because we have more time and space to do things and we have our, we have another classroom upstairs and there is just more space and we get to know the people more because we’re around them more often in this part of town," Fletcher said.
The kitchen was originally a tool for community outreach – the intention was to help a community once labeled as the unhealthiest in the country learn how to eat better. Gannon thinks it’s opportunity for the dietetics program to help in the fight for healthy eating.
"I think having us in this environment, in this kitchen and being able to do the outreach that we can will really enhance what we have always brought to the community, but will make it even better," Gaannon said. "We really didn’t have the ability or space to do this type of education or outreach in the past."
The department of dietetics has been teaching healthy eating at Marshall since 1923.
Appalachia Health News is a project of West Virginia Public Broadcasting, with support from the Benedum Foundation.