An important aspect of South Carolina Read Eat Grow is food literacy programs in libraries. This guide contains resources and ideas to get food literacy programs started at your library for patrons of any age.
We recommend having attendees sign a waiver, and leave plenty of time to discuss your recipes and ingredients at the beginning of any program in order to be upfront about allergies and preferences.
The new book by Hillary Dodge, "Gather Round the Table: Food Literacy Programs, Resources, and Ideas for Libraries" is a great title to have in your professional collection to reference for programming ideas for all ages.
Cooking with teens and young adults can be incredibly fulfilling. They are learning their independent likes and dislikes, preparing for college life, and oftentimes making meals for younger siblings. Reading a recipe can be a low pressure method of improving vocabulary and literacy skills. Holding a Career Fair that includes chefs, farmers, bakers, locals from farmer markets, and other makers is an exciting way to highlight unusual career choices.
"Sprinkle, Mold, Blend, Create: Cooking Programs for Teens" from the Programming Librarian blog.
"Veggie Teens": Earth Friendly Cooking Program
Virtual Brownie Bake-Off: record yourself making brownies, then share the recipe and video on social media or email. Invite teens to share photos or video of their brownie baking results.
It is important to include children in cooking. Encourage families to bring children to food related programs when possible. Getting kids to touch ingredients is important for sensory exploration and overcoming a reluctance to try new food items. If you are unable to provide food programs you can still incorporate food into your story times through crafts and STEM activities.
This all ages storytime from Jbrary uses diverse books and uses a lot of repetition for new language learners
If you're looking for an approachable way to discuss food allergies, try this resource for educators from the Nemours Kid's Health website.
The popular Cooking Matters Pop-Up Grocery store tour can also be experienced virtually!
The possibilities are endless with adult food literacy programs. Host a monthly cookbook club, talk about low impact exercise, start a container garden, provide information about cooking on a fixed budget for seniors.