New program provides healthy, affordable meals - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

New program provides healthy, affordable meals

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LA CROSSE, WISCONSIN (WXOW)-- Hillview Urban Agriculture Center is launching a healthy eating initiative called the Market Baskets Program.

Hillview will provide 800 slow cookers, as well as beans and whole grains, to low-income families. The program is trying to help parents make healthy, inexpensive food, that kids will actually eat.

"Its really a matter of putting the ingredients in the slow cooker in the morning and that's it," said Leanne Carlson, with Hillview Urban Agriculture Center. "And kids can be a part of cutting up the vegetables."

"It's as easy as can possibly be," said Margi Hanson, a Hillview board member. "I made a vegetarian chili. You don't even have to use chicken stock, which can be very costly, just seven cups of water."

In addition to providing slow cookers and ingredients to low in come families, Margi and Leanne, will lead cooking demonstrations, at the Boys and Girls Club and area food shelves.

"This is a way to get them to realize, making their own food, is easy and it's healthy for them," said Daron Householder, with the Boys and Girls Club.

"Sometimes I can be intimidating to just see a recipe or to cook something without tasting it first," said Leanne. "But if you tasted it and you know it's good, we're hoping that families will feel more motivated to make these meals if they know that they're easy and their kids are going to eat them."

The hope is that preparing a healthy, home cooked meal, means families will sit down and eat together.

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