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“It’s reading the recipe and understanding the instructions,” she said. “They have to be able to follow the instructions and understand and comprehend what they’re being asked to do.”
Hands Up receives literacy funding through Decoda Literacy Solutions, a non-profit partially funded through donations to the Vancouver Sun’s Raise-a-Reader literacy campaign which launched last week.
Families receive a meal kit that includes the ingredients, instructions on how to prepare, and links to YouTube videos to help explain the process, she said.
“They get literacy skills, cooking skills and the food kits for free,” said Waters.
Angela Grace Greenwood, a single mom of five who is home-schooling the three youngest, was grateful for the opportunity to improve her and her children’s food prep literacy.
“It’s good, healthy food, and they’re not just handing out hampers,” she said. “It helps take out the daunting part of cooking a meal. I never knew making quesadillas could be so easy and so much fun.”
She said it’s especially useful for her two children who have autism and so have challenges with executive functions, such as planning and organizing.
She said at first the children were reluctant to join her in the kitchen and she would have to say, “Mom’s making this, who wants to come in and help me.”
But they took to the idea and now Greenwood delegates duties to them and they are all in the kitchen working together, which took some getting used to for mom.