Healthy eating can be a fun topic, and Lahaina Phillip knew it was important to her community.

A colleague recommended that Lahaina, a community health specialist for the Portland-area Micronesian Islander community, contact OSU Extension’s Elena Illescas, a SNAP-Ed Education Program Assistant in Clackamas County, who taught nutrition education as part of a Spanish-language Cooking Matters class with community partners.

After Lahaina cold-called Elena, their partnership—and friendship—has flourished. They share their story in this month’s First Monday update.

First, they collaborated to design and deliver a series of nutrition education and cooking classes with the Micronesian community. See photos from the classes.

Lahaina adapted traditional community recipes to make them healthier by including more vegetables. Soon, two of the recipes—Chicken Kelaguen and Stir Fry Mackerel—will be available through Food Hero, added because of the Cooking Matters class.

Now, Lahaina and Elena are expanding their partnership to form a Food Hero Cultural Toolkit Workgroup for Pacific Islanders to highlight traditional ingredients and promote healthy cultural recipes. They are looking at how to continue to involve the Pacific Islander community at a distance during the pandemic through remote OSU Extension programming. And Lahaina is eager to learn more about and connect her community with other OSU Extension programming, including youth development and gardening topics.

Share what inspires you about this collaboration in the comment section. And reach out to Elena if you are interested in learning more.
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Además, si usted está trabajando con familias hispanohablantes eligibles para beneficios alimentarios quienes están interesados en recibir la clase de Cooking Matters en Español con recetas culturalmente relevantes, nutritivas, sabrosas y económicas no duden en contactarnos.

Also, if you are working with Spanish-speaking families eligible for food benefits who are interested in receiving the Cooking Matters class in Spanish with culturally relevant, nutritious, delicious, and affordable recipes, don’t hesitate to contact us.

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