YMCA of Virginia's Blue Ridge Unveils New Teaching Kitchen

Community programs will provide skills to promote healthier eating habits

September 22, 2017

The YMCA of Virginia’s Blue Ridge had a ribbon cutting ceremony for the Richard and Elizabeth Macher Teaching Kitchen at the YMCA Express at Gainsboro. The new kitchen will offer community programs focused on nutrition, culinary education and healthy cooking.

“We have been dreaming about this teaching kitchen for several years now and all of the wonderful programming it will bring to our community,” said Mark Johnson President & CEO of the YMCA of Virginia’s Blue Ridge. We could not be happier that this day has finally come thanks to the generous support of local donors,” said Johnson.

The Y’s teaching kitchen is named after Richard and Elizabeth Macher who have supported this project from the beginning. Richard Macher also serves as a corporate board member of the YMCA of Virginia’s Blue Ridge.

“The Machers have been a fundamental part in the fundraising efforts for this kitchen by hosting a bi-annual Chef’s Table event at their home for over 200 attendees,” said Johnson. The money raised from this event over the past several years has made this project a reality,” said Johnson.

The YMCA Express at Gainsboro will utilize the teaching kitchen to facilitate cooking classes for families, seniors, teens, adults and youth. The Y’s culinary programs will empower individuals and families with the skills, knowledge, and confidence to make healthy, affordable meals encouraging healthier eating habits in our community.

“This kitchen is for our community,” said Jonathan Pait Executive Director of the YMCA Express at Gainsboro. We are excited to build partnerships with organizations in the Roanoke Valley as well as work with local farms to promote the use of fresh produce and community supported agriculture,” said Pait.

The first program slated for the kitchen is Cooking with Holland. The class is open to adults ages 19 and over and will meet on a monthly basis to cook a dish using garden fresh vegetables. For more information on becoming involved with the Richard and Elizabeth Macher Teaching Kitchen visit www.ymcavbr.org.