Though not a kitchen-trained chef, Meghan draws on her Peace Corps experience in Uganda, where, working with Child Care and Youth Empowerment Foundation, a non-governmental organization (NGO), she organized youth health clubs and camps, focusing on nutrition, life skills, family planning and sex education.
“We did a lot of work with the teenage mothers to make sure that they were feeding their babies properly,” she said, adding “What I did in the Peace Corps directly informs what I do here.”
Now working on her doctorate in public health, Meghan adapted much of that programming for her work at The Floating Hospital, managing a team of six educators. A signature event is Camp Rise Up, the week-long summer sleepaway youth camps focused on healthy lifestyles, diet, exercise, leadership and personal skills. Adapted for Covid conditions, Camp Rise Up this year was conducted locally as day sessions with daily workshops, healthy meals and afternoon field trips and recreation.
The new kitchen will double the team’s current space and can be partitioned for demonstrations and table-side learning, with a reading nook and stations set up for tutoring, health education and crafts—all monitored for compliance with social distancing guidelines.
“We’re are still working out ideas, including treating the kitchen as a drop-in center for adults,” she said, noting the proximity of the Queensbridge Houses across the street. “I’m hoping a lot people who live there will be some of our heavy hitters in our cooking classes because it’s really easy for them to just come by.”
The Floating Hospital’s health-education programming, including Camp Rise Up and the new teaching kitchen, is funded in part through private grants from foundations, and is not billable to any insurance program, government or private. To find out how you can support this vital programming, please contact Ellen Barker, firstname.lastname@example.org