“Uncanned – From the Heart to the Table”

December 10, 2018

Local high school students have joined together to strategically combat food insecurity in the Clarksville community.  On December 8, Lead United Student Service Ambassadors distributed the Uncanned:  From the Heart to the Table cookbook to those receiving a food box from Manna Café Ministries. 

In Montgomery County alone, 18.9% of children struggle with food insecurity.  Second Harvest Food Bank reports 91% of families who are food insecure rely on inexpensive, processed food as a coping strategy to hunger.  Through their service work, students also discovered that many food box recipients do not know how to prepare the produce and pantry items received. 

In partnership with Manna Café, the students curated healthy and cost-saving recipes that call for ingredients found in many of Manna’s grocery boxes. The cookbook project aims to reduce food insecurity by providing a handy resource to help families provide more healthful meals, decrease food waste, and feel more confident in the kitchen.

One of the biggest concerns for children facing hunger is how they will struggle in school.  The cookbook provides healthy recipes so families can prepare meals with limited resources and still receive the proper nutrients. The ultimate goal for this project is to improve community health while boosting student success academically, physically, mentally, and socially.  

 Furthering the student-led initiative, students in Rossview High School’s Academy of Media Arts & Technology also designed the cover art and interior layout of the book. 

To fund the printing of the cookbook, Lead United president and volunteer chair, Sarah Lange and Morgan Crowley presented a grant proposal to Veterans United Foundation.  The foundation awarded Lead United students a $5,000 grant to fund the printing of 2,000 cookbooks. 

Lead United is a student leadership council focusing on community service and volunteerism in the local Clarksville area. Student service ambassadors serve on United Way’s student executive board to  implement volunteer service projects for middle and high school students throughout the community. One to three students from local high schools are selected to serve as a service ambassador. Ambassadors meet once a month during the school year to plan, coordinate, and complete one to two community projects each year.

Learn more by reading this recent news story featuring the project: