Eastside High School culinary students and a chef prepare meal kits that are being sent to Hawthorne low-income families, who use them to create healthy meals. [Alachua County Public Schools]

Eastside High School senior Cirius Brown said she’s getting a lot more out of a culinary class this year than training to help prepare her for Johnson & Wales University, where she has been accepted into its baking and pastry program.

She’s getting the satisfaction of helping low-income families in Hawthorne, who, with the help of Brown and her classmates, are getting ingredients to prepare their own healthy meals.

During a recent class period in the Institute of Culinary Arts, she was among the Eastside students who were slicing, dicing, and carefully measuring out carrots, rice, beef and other fruits and vegetables and healthy ingredients.

Students bagged them into kits with recipe cards so that the families would be able to cook their own nutritious meals.

The kits are delivered to the Hawthorne Area Resource Center, where the families who have been approved for the program pick up the meals.

Eastside High School student helps put together food for low-income family in Hawthorne.

“I love the program because it does help people who are less fortunate be able to afford the fresh products,” she said. “Everybody wants to be healthy, but eating healthy costs so much. This has taught me a lot about the quality of food, and a lot of people may not be able to afford it.”

The kits are much like those made by HelloFresh, Blue Apron and other meal kit services that have become popular worldwide. But these kits are free.

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