Cooking with the MedCHEFS

The WVU MedCHEFS and the WVU Medicine Center for Diabetes and Metabolic Health are offering cooking demos at Jefferson County Community Ministries (JCCM) on the third Saturday of each month at 10 a.m.  The next demo will be held on Feb. 17.

The Medical Curriculum in Health Exercise and Food Sciences (MedCHEFS) program was developed at the WVU School of Medicine Eastern Division to emphasize nutrition and exercise interactions between medical doctors and patients. The MedCHEFS program provides medical students with effective tools to help them change health problems like obesity, diabetes, and heart disease, which are most common in West Virginia.

Although the MedCHEFS program was developed to teach medical students, the Eastern Division sees the benefit in providing this program directly to the community.  “The immediate goal of this new partnership with WVU is to demonstrate that tasty and healthy meals can come from the shelves of our food pantry and the fresh produce from the Community Gardens in Ranson,” JCCM Director Robert Shefner said.

“All the pieces of healthy and tasty meals are right there before us. We just need to know how to put those pieces together.”  Shefner stated. The longer-term goal is to help neighbors become healthier through the foods they eat. Many of the JCCM clients too often eat meals that are fast, unhealthy and expensive.  The time available for meal preparation is limited along with the knowledge of what is fast, healthy and less costly.

“We are increasingly paying attention to how difficult it is for clients who are diabetic or even pre-diabetic to know what healthy eating looks like and how they can use what is readily available to them in our food pantry to achieve increased health through food,” Shefner said.  “We feel it’s an important part of self-sufficiency for our clients to know the elements of healthy eating, and help them gain experience and confidence in their own abilities to make meals that add to good health.”

Join Rosie Cannarella Lorenzetti, M.D., Madison Humerick, M.D., WVU medical students and Scott Anderson, chef and co-owner of Community Garden Market in Shepherdstown, to learn healthy cooking techniques and taste the foods that are prepared.  There will be a prize drawing and giveaways for all.

Clients of JCCM will receive a meal and bag of ingredients from the food pantry.  Recipes highlighting foods available in the pantry will be offered.  The cooking demo counts as one opportunity for JCCM clients.

The WVU MedCHEFS cooking demo is free and open to the public. Registration is not required.  JCCM is located at 238 W. Washington Street in Charles Town.  For more information contact Nathan Fiore at 304-596-6323 or email