AARP Wisconsin: “Cooking with Seniors” Proposal Wins AARP “Small Dollar, Big Impact” Grant

MILWAUKEE, WI – A proposal submitted by Heart 2 Heart Compassionate Widow’s Circles, Inc. to provide additional food, equipment, supplies, and a chef to facilitate two “Cooking with Seniors” classes has been selected to receive this month’s AARP Wisconsin “Little Dollar, high impact”. ” grant.

AARP Wisconsin will award a grant each month through 2022 to projects across the state that are designed to improve communities and make them better places for everyone to live, work and play as they age. The judges selected this Milwaukee-based project for a $1,000 grant after reviewing dozens of proposals submitted from across Wisconsin.

“These grants are exactly what their name describes: low-cost, short-term solutions that could have a dramatic impact in shaping local communities,” said Amber Miller, AARP Wisconsin deputy state director for community outreach.

“We know how cooking and food can bring people together and Heart 2 Heart Compassionate Widow’s Circles, Inc. has done an amazing job offering these classes to our community for over 50 years. With this grant, they are now able to offer even more cooking workshops,” said Miller.

Genene Hibbler, founder and CEO of Heart 2 Heart, said the group will spend the grant money on food, equipment, supplies and a facilitator for “Cooking with Seniors” classes.

“With the rising cost of food and other basics, every dollar has to count in homes within our local communities,” Hibbler said, adding that “cooking is not just a chore that needs to be done, it is an opportunity to escape your realities, relieve stress and free your mind. Seniors will be encouraged to be creative while enjoying cooking in a fun filled social environment. After all, when seniors cook their own meals, they can control their dietary intake while eating healthy and trying new recipes. Our chefs will provide instructions on how to purchase, prepare, cook and serve a meal.

“With a joyful heart, I thank God for AARP,” Hibbler said. “I believe AARP has been sent to be an instrument of change by improving communities and making them better places for everyone to live, work and play as they age.”

Heart 2 Heart shares that mission and is grateful that its “Cooking with Seniors” project was selected for the grant, Hibbler continued. “We hope to use the award to host two cooking classes for seniors in celebration of Grandparents’ Day on Sunday, September 11. May God continue to bless AARP to continue the good work they are doing to be a true example of how kind you are. , generosity and compassion are seen as in southeastern Wisconsin.”

In June 2022, Heart 2 Heart launched “Cooking as Therapy” classes. The group partnered with the Oak Creek Community Center to host a cooking class for single moms and kids. After the session, participants were asked to complete a class evaluation.

Participants said the classes gave them a sense of community as they learned new skills and recipes. They said they were able to share meaningful experiences with their children in a loving and healthy environment and had the opportunity to meet new moms and kids. They said that cooking is a stress reliever that also gives them quality time to develop relationships.

Heart 2 Heart Compassionate Widow’s Circles Inc. is a nonprofit organization that works to bridge the gap between church and community while empowering participants toward independence and self-reliance through their participation in leader-led Compassionate Widow’s Circles. ministerial.

“Heart 2 Heart Compassionate Widow’s Circles takes a unique and different approach to using the kitchen to calm the body and clear the mind for each participant,” said Hibbler. “We use cooking as a therapy to replenish and improve the mood of the elderly, while encouraging them to participate in a social activity.”

Hibbler said the group is looking to expand Cooking as Therapy courses to include a multi-generational educational approach to cooking in a fun, interactive group setting geared toward people 55 and older.

AARP Wisconsin launched its “Small Dollar, Big Impact” grant program in 2020 and is now in its third year helping move proposed projects forward in rural and urban areas of the state.

The grant program is open to select nonprofit organizations and government entities. For more information about the program, visit www.aarp.org/WIsdbi

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