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Student Support Services TRIO program hosts ‘Cooking on a Budget’

Students learn how to make budget-friendly meals at the “Cooking on a Budget” event, hosted by the Student Support Services TRIO, on Monday, Nov. 20.

Students involved in the Student Support Services TRIO Program had the opportunity to learn how to cook simple budget-friendly recipes Monday afternoon in the Academic Complex.

The kitchen lab in the building is opened several times each semester for organizations to host cooking events in. 

The SSS Trio Program, an organization built to support and provide opportunities, resources and scholarships for first-generation, income-eligible and students with disabilities, hosted so students in their program could learn how to make some dishes before the holiday season.

The students teamed up into small groups where they worked together to create recipes like cornbread, lasagna casserole, and various rice and meat dishes.

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Matthew VanSchenkhof, hospitality management and dietetics instructor, taught the attendees cooking fundamentals at the beginning of the event and then was available for specific questions throughout.

“What we’re trying to do is giving [students] an opportunity to make meals today that are inexpensive, but very tasty, filling, nutritionally balanced, and simple,” VanSchenkhof said.

Once all of their meals were cooked, attendees were able to eat both their creations and those of their peers. Students were also encouraged to take meals with them once they left the event to enjoy over Thanksgiving break.

SSS has hosted multiple events throughout the semester. Their next one will be in December, where they will watch a showing of A Christmas Carol at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center.

Shylin Jordan, junior theatre major, said she is grateful for the SSS TRIO Program because of the social and academic opportunities it has presented her with, along with the personal support she has received from the individuals within it.

“SSS is a very comforting place,” Jordan said.

Jaylyne Gardner, sophomore interior design major, said she believes being a part of SSS has had the biggest impact on her college experience.

“Having a place to go where you feel comfortable or you’re not the only one that looks like you, and just being able to express yourself in ways that you couldn’t on campus has really helped a lot, along with the resources they provide,” Gardner said.

Those interested in applying for or learning more about the SSS TRIO Program can visit, follow their Instagram @wku_sss, or email Destiny O’Rourke, SSS TRIO Program director, at [email protected].

Students interested in taking courses related to culinary, food sciences, and/or dietetics, can email VanSchenkhof at [email protected].20

News Reporter Ali Costellow can be reached at [email protected] 

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