Mitchell nonprofit starts healthy meal seminarsFirst Time at the Table event is from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Friday.
By: Tom Lawrence, The Daily Republic
Learning some crockpot recipes seems like a wise idea this time of year. Billy Mawhiney, the founder of the nonprofit Time at the Table, will host the first “cart-by” seminar in the County Fair deli area from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Friday in Mitchell. More seminars on healthy and fun eating are planned this winter and spring on the first Friday of each month.
This first event is on the second Friday of the month because of Super Bowl weekend, and Mawhiney’s involvement with the Wingapalooza event earlier this month.
“Our first one is themed to be crockpot recipes and we will have three samples with recipes for folks to try,” Mawhiney said.
It’s a free event, but participants are free to donate to TATT’s Kitchen Kids Scholarship fund, he said. It allows children to participate in from-scratch cooking classes.
“Everyone can find something in these cart-by seminars, from beginner to experienced cooks,” he said. “An easy recipe that tastes good should always be welcome. We always focus on healthy for you and your wallet recipes, but we know either can be easily dismissed if a meal doesn’t pass the taste test.”
County Fair Store Manager Justin Luther said County Fair, as a family owned business, likes to promote family values and families eating together.
“It’s just a natural fit for grocery businesses to want families to eat at the table as well,” Luther said.
He said Time at the Table will provide the food and do the cooking, and his store will provide the space. It will continue for several months, and Luther said he’s glad County Fair is involved with the effort.
Time at the Table is a local nonprofit on a mission to be a resource for families from all walks of life on how to reconnect around the dinner table, Mawhiney said.
“We live in a world where one in four meals is eaten in a car and one in three meals are fast food,” he said. “You combine this with working parents, swim lessons, basketball, homework, Cub or Girl Scouts, hockey, gymnastics, etc., and what is the first thing cut? Family dinner.”
“Family dinner can actually be the solution,” Mawhiney said. “Everything a parent concerns themselves with: grades, self-image, health, depression, drug and alcohol use, and even promiscuity are all positively influenced from families who sit down to dinner together three or more times a week.”
That data comes from the annual report put out by The National Center on Addiction & Substance Abuse at Columbia University, he said.
Future themes at “cart-by” seminars will include stocking a full pantry, some pairings with red wine, white wine and craft beers, and healthy snacks.
Mawhiney, a Missouri native who lived in Brooklyn, N.Y., before moving to Mitchell in 2010, said while his focus and foundation is in Mitchell, he is also looking to make a national impact.
On April 18, Time at the Table will host the inaugural Family Dinner Conference in New York City on the New York University campus.