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Extension’s Cooking Basics series helps people navigate through the kitchen | Features

As restaurants closed in the beginning of the pandemic, many Americans learned just how much they had come to rely on them.

People had to start finding their way around the kitchen. That was a big task in a country where, according to the United States Department of Agriculture, people on average spend 54% of their food bills in restaurants.

Employees at the Manhattan-based K-State Research and Extension service thought they could help.

“At the beginning of the pandemic, Extension decided to do just a quick needs assessment with our clients,” said Lisa Martin, extension agent for the expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program.

The survey asked people what issues were the most important to them at the time — cooking and getting meals on the table hit high on the list.

“We had curriculum that we used with teaching, but we really didn’t have anything in fact sheets, and

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