Nursing Students Compile Recipe Book for the Food Depot


Truman State University nursing students, Barbara Kueny (left) of Montgomery City, Mo., and Elizabeth Brown (right) of Leawood, Kan., pose with the ingredients used to create the recipe book to be used by the Kirksville Food Depot.

Truman State University nursing students in the Human Nutrition class have put their classroom knowledge to work this spring semester by working with the Kirksville Food Depot to create a recipe book to distribute to their clients.

The Food Depot is a consortium of churches that donate food on a rotating basis to the pantry and then distribute the food to families who are in immediate need of groceries. Due to its structure, the Food Depot is able to provide nearly the same ingredients and food items to each family every time. The students were given the list of these various ingredients and food items and were asked to create or modify a week’s worth of recipes using the items on the list while demonstrating the nutritional value of the recipes. The project is an effort to provide nutritious, easy-to-make recipes to the lower-income families and ideally promote healthier eating habits.

Course Instructor Teak Nelson’s primary goal for incorporating a service-learning component into her course is to provide the students a platform to gain practical experience by working in the “real-world” and to have the opportunity to apply their knowledge from the classroom in a meaningful way to benefit the community. To help her students get a better feel for our area and its needs, Nelson has required that the students volunteer at both the Food Depot and Hope’s Kitchen throughout the semester.

“I believe that it is important for our students to get out into the community and meet the families who will benefit from their hard work this semester,” Nelson said. “Nursing is a discipline that values personal, face-to-face interactions and if my students were to simply compile the recipe book, we would lack that essential component—meaningful interaction with the population we are striving to serve.”

The students are currently trying out all of the recipes they created or modified to ensure that the recipes are appetizing as well as simple and nutritious. Once the quality-assurance phase has passed, the students will then compile the recipes put them into a book format and after final editing they will send it to the printer.  The recipe books will then be presented to the Food Depot some time in April.

Nelson reports that, as a result of this project, the students seem to have a better understanding of the nutrition challenges that the low-income population often faces and she believes this can only enhance their nursing careers as they will inevitably grapple with the realities of poverty.

“The students’ constant high-energy and enthusiasm for the project is what propels me forward in the semester and pushes me to ensure excellence in the classroom so that each student realizes their maximum positive impact outside of the classroom,” Nelson said.
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