Campus of Change

Ending Homelessness in the Fox Valley

Cooking With Andrew

Posted on Jun 9, 2014 by


Residents learn to be “resourceful with food”

Once a month, COTS’ Executive Director, Andrew Wilson, offers a class to residents at the men’s campus, naturally titled Cooking with Andrew.  Andrew works one-on-one with three to five residents during each class, teaching them how to prepare a meal using only the ingredients available in the COTS pantry.  By using only what is available to them, residents learn “to be resourceful with food,” remarks Andrew; “Basically, we’re multiplying what we have.” 

Andrew enjoys having the opportunity to spend quality time with residents, while simultaneously teaching them a basic living skill.  He especially likes witnessing each resident’s individual way of cooking.  Once the food is prepared by the residents participating in the class, the meal is then shared with all residents on the men’s campus.

Positive results

Although the class was only initiated in April of this year, Andrew has already seen positive results.  In fact, after the first cooking session was held, one resident said he was going to use what he learned when cooking for his grandchildren.  Jay, a resident of the Men’s Program, also attended the first session and felt that “it was interesting learning how to make [chicken pot pie].”  He had previously never made a pot pie, other than a pre-made one from the frozen food section.  The hardest part, according to Jay, was making the dough, as it was made from scratch.  He happily reports that “[the chicken pot pies] turned out good, and it was amazing how simple it was.”  Jay and Andrew, pictured below (left to right), show off their tasty creation.

“More options and fun” to come

During the summer, there will be more resources for cooking, as COTS’ greenhouse will supply fresh vegetables grown by residents.  Andrew looks forward to having “more options and fun” when working with residents to prepare a meal.

Through teaching this class, the Director is also able to see what resources we consistently don’t have that are necessary when cooking.  Among these resources are olive oil and non-salted butter. If interested in donating either of these items, please contact COTS’ development office at 920-734-3609 ext. 404 or