New Trier’s Gourmet classes to bake, donate treats to Meals at Home


New Trier High School's Gourmet classes are partnering with Meals at Home to provide treats to those in need of food assistance on the North Shore.

The Meals at Home Program contributes to individual well-being and independence by providing nutritious meals, medically prescribed diets, and other supportive services to the homebound, elderly, disabled, and others temporarily unable to care for their nutritional needs.

The partnership - the first of its kind at the high school - will begin March 6 and run through May 15. The classes will make items to be packaged in meals for delivery during that time period.

"We are so excited that New Trier has joined the list of local providers for Meals at Home," said Stephanie Hawkins, the volunteer coordinator at Meals at Home. "We serve around 130 people six days a week with donated food."

Meals are prepared fresh from several providers and then collected by Meals at Home. After the food is marked for delivery, a volunteer drops off the meals mid-day and visits with the customer. The delivery includes a cold lunch and hot dinner.

New Trier's contribution will include six different types of treats for six weeks. Students will make the treats in the high school's kitchen to be delivered with the meals, teacher Mary Kate Olsen said.

"Partnering with Meals at Home opens my students' eyes to the reality of what life is like for so many of their neighbors," Olsen said. "It has made a home-cooked meal that much more appreciated."

To begin the partnership, student groups came up with two original recipes and nutritional information for each. One recipe was a treat of their choosing without any restrictions. The other recipe was a low-calorie, low-sodium and sugar-free treat so "the students could learn about what it means to be diabetic, live with heart failure and have a more restrictive diet," Olsen said.

All of the recipes were made in class from March 1-3. The students then chose which six were their favorites to make for Meals at Home. The selected treats include: chocolate frosted brownies, Rice Krispies treats and chocolate chip cookies; and low-calorie, low-sodium and sugar-free meringue bites, oatmeal cookies and "sugar" cookies.

The treats will be made bi-weekly and bagged for delivery in class.

Meals at Home currently serves Evanston, New Trier Township, Skokie and areas of Lake County. Meals are made available without regard to age or income of the recipients. Meal cost is based on a sliding scale dependent on income.

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