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Sprouts Grant Helps Autistic Adults Learn to Cook Healthy
Sprouts Healthy Communities Foundation awarded a $10,000 grant to First Place AZ, providing seed funding for a collection of “Cook Healthy” courses for adults with autism and other neuro-diversities to learn independent living skills.
The Sprouts Kitchen Network will offer cooking courses at the First Place–Phoenix culinary teaching kitchens, which can be viewed from the First Place apartments. First Place AZ, a nonprofit focused on ensuring that housing options for adults with autism and other neuro-diversities are bountiful, broke ground on First Place–Phoenix in December 2016. Residents can expect to move into the $15 million property in spring 2018.
“Learning proper nutrition is important to us all,” said Denise Resnik, First Place founder, president and CEO. “Part of living independently involves learning how to make smart food choices and prepare nourishing meals. We’re grateful to the Sprouts Healthy Communities Foundation for allowing us to capture and reinforce these important life-skills lessons, adding another valued dimension to community life at First Place–Phoenix.”
The grant from the Sprouts Healthy Communities Foundation covers Phase 1, with the creation of the “First to the Table” video concept and prototypes to be released this summer.
“We’re thrilled to see First Place putting their Neighborhood Grant funds to use in such a creative and impactful way,” said Lyndsey Waugh, executive director of the Sprouts Healthy Communities Foundation. “Learning how to prepare healthy meals gives young adults with autism and other unique abilities the skills necessary to make healthier food choices and to experience the rewards of cooking.”
Cheryl Najafi—lifestyle expert, New York Times best-selling author and creator of Everyday Dishes—is lending her talent and expertise to the Sprouts Kitchen Network. Najafi has made it her mission to make delicious and dependable meals that are easy and affordable for everyday families.
The Sprouts Kitchen Network will feature videos and recipes from Najafi, along with new films created at First Place–Phoenix and involving future residents.
“The kitchen is the most important place in the home,” said Najafi. “It’s the gathering spot where happy hearts celebrate and broken hearts mend—where families and friends can momentarily slow the passing of time and truly connect.”
Great Scott Productions of Phoenix is producing the segments.
First Place is developing four culinary teaching kitchens at First Place–Phoenix, which will also feature a raised courtyard garden where residents can plant and cultivate herbs and vegetables.