Healing, Community, Food

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The healing power of community and food

Jessica Lucas has three non-negotiables in life: community classes, healthy cooking, and time in the garden. When she moved from West Virginia to Central Ohio, it seemed serendipitous that Jessica came across Local Matters, a place where she could find all three.

"Walking through the kitchen doors for my first Community Kitchen class was extremely difficult," she shared. Jessica has had to re-frame her view of food and nutrition - she is recovering from a severe eating disorder.

After that first class, Jessica knew she would be coming back. She has found community with Local Matters and fellow class participants. When asked what aspect of the classes is so meaningful to her, Jessica said:

"It's all of it. In class, you add your own dash of life to food prepared in community. You bring all of the senses together for a holistic sense of health."

Jessica has learned the importance of mindful choices around food. The colorful, fresh ingredients used in the Community Kitchen have reinvigorated her life (as has sharing meals with those she has connected to during class). Ultimately, Jessica knows that everyone who comes to class brings their own backstory. No matter what healing they need, Jessica hopes the kitchen will provide it, just as it has for her.


We share stories like Jessica's because we know that by echoing their powerful voices, our community's health will continue to grow. Your support enables these stories to be shared and new stories to form. Thank you.