We had a hugely successful Mother's Day Dumpling Class a few weeks ago  - thank you to all the people who filled the restaurant in support of our charity! We were super excited to be putting on this dumpling making & folding class for a couple of reasons, namely the awesome partner companies and organizations involved. I mean, learning how to make and fold dumplings is excellent no matter what. And yes, getting to eat all the dumplings you can fit in your belly while wearing your brand new custom Hedley & Bennett apron is a dream come true. But we are extra psyched to have been able to raise so much money for our charity partner, the non-profit Baraka Wellness.

Irene and I first met the dynamic and energetic Raheem Baraka when our friends at Lovin' Spoonfuls (another amazing nonprofit!) asked us to run a cooking workshop showcasing seasonal vegetables for participants in the Baraka Wellness Healthy Moms, Healthy Kids program, which focuses on fitness, nutrition, coaching and social support for at-risk young mothers and children.

What better organization to support for a Mother's Day event?

Armed with local zucchini and eggplant, cheese graters and vegetable peelers, we headed to the Curtis Hall Community Center in Jamaica Plain to demonstrate some recipes and techniques.

We snacked on zucchini bread, demonstrated a shaved zucchini salad, showed some eggplant cooking methods, chatted about American and Dominican kitchen techniques, poked some cute baby cheeks, and had a great time.

It was so fun and so rewarding to show some new skills to an interested and engaged group of women and we hope that this workshop helped contribute to some of the positive outcomes seen through the program.

 

Here's what we're up against: (statistics from Baraka Wellness)

FACTS:
 

  • 3 out of 4 families headed by a single mother live in poverty.

  • More than one third of children and adolescents are overweight or obese.

  • Obese adolescents are more likely to become obese adults.

  • Nearly 50% of all African American women have diabetes.

  • At least one out of every five U.S. teenagers has abnormal cholesterol levels.

  • Overweight and obesity are associated with a 52 percent increased risk of a diagnosis of asthma.

  • Children born to obese mothers are twice as likely to be obese and to develop type 2 diabetes later in life.

But thankfully, the people of Baraka Wellness and so many other partners and organizations are working hard to combat these stark realities. Some measurable improvements reported by Baraka include 400% increase in nutrition knowledge, 300% increase in daily physical activity and 3-43 pounds lost while enrolled in Healthy Moms, Healthy Kids. They combine fitness classes with nutrition classes, dietary coaching, social work and more to approach a complex issue from multiple angles. It's so great to see such a targeted, specific, measurable program really make a difference in people's lives. 

We're so happy to support the important work being done at Baraka Wellness through this event. Through the dumpling class, we raised $800 which will go directly to Healthy Mom, Healthy Kids (a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization)! Learn more about them by checking out the video below.

And a huge thanks also to Claudia and Leah from Fresh Magazine by Hannaford for the adorable little recipe cards! You guys are the best. 

Stay tuned for our next class and more opportunities to get dumplings in your belly, an awesome custom apron around your waist, and support a great cause!

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