Hardwick, News

Recipe For Human Connection Teaches More than Cooking

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HARDWICK — Recipe For Human Connection (RFHC) students at Hazen Union School had the opportunity to gain experience beyond learning to cook together this year. The class is designed to center creativity, collaboration and community-building through the lens of food.

photo by Reeve Basom
Hazen Union School’s Recipe For Human Connection students at the Vermont Student Assistance Corp. Career and Transition Conference where they led a discussion and cooking activities to help adults experience the magic of connecting through food. (from left) Ben Gomo, Harmoney Peets, Ginger Bowley, Noelle Ditzler and Lucas Hall.

This year’s RFHC students prepared and served over 1000 meals at the monthly United Church of Hardwick community lunch. They shared the experience they gained in doing that by planning and serving teacher appreciation meals at Hazen and some of them wrote for the Hardwick Gazette as community journalists.

Teachers and community members commented that students taking the class were creative, generous, curious and collaborative. They tried new things, made mistakes, found solutions and learned from each other.

photo by Reeve Basom
Recipe For Human Connection students serve chili, cornbread, salad and slaw at the Hardwick Community Lunch, hosted monthly by the United Church of Hardwick. (from left) Caitlyn Davison, Georgia Allen, Tessa Luther, Taylor Cloutier and community members.

They designed special activities for Hazen middle schoolers and cooked together with them, sharing a taste of their own experiences. They did the same with visiting Champlain Valley Union High School students and teachers, who had learned about RFHC class and were inspired to travel to Hardwick, where they helped out with the community lunch.

RFHC students had an impact beyond the school community and Hardwick when some of them led a discussion and cooking activities to help adults experience the magic of connecting through food at a statewide Vermont Student Assistance Corporation conference.

photo by Reeve Basom
Hazen Union School Recipe for Human Connection students and school staff prepare the Hardwick Community Lunch. (from left) Carrie Gonyaw, Nicole Ducharme, Caitlyn Davison, Jen Olson (staff), Max Fortman, Taylor Cloutier, Vaiva Velzis (staff.)

The class contributed to community conversations by baking desserts when the Hardwick Area Neighbor to Neighbor group hosted community gatherings to discuss flood resilience.

RFHC caught the attention of professionals doing drug abuse prevention work, one of whom commented that the class and the community meal is the best prevention work they can imagine.

RFHC class is part of the place-based education partnership between The Center for an Agricultural Economy (CAE) and Orleans Southwest Supervisory Union (OSSU).

Reeve Basom is the Center for an Agricultural Economy’s place-based education coordinator.

Reeve Basom

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