A local self-taught chef is sharing her love of healthy, homemade meals with parents who need it most.
Beth Donnelly volunteers weekly to teach others just how easy it is to prepare nutritious food for their families.
For $100 or less, Chef Donnelly plans to feed up to 50 people a healthy three-course meal.
Each week, she teaches families how to cook in Alexandria as part of a parenting class offered by SCAN (Stop Child Abuse Now) of Northern Virginia.
"This program is really about educating people about how to become better parents providing them really healthy meals and teaching them how to cook a really healthy meal and giving them the tools to be able to do that was really important," Donnelly said.
In each class, a different family works with Beth in the kitchen. They learn about the spices, how to handle the food and are also introduced to healthy alternatives to traditional high-calories meals.
"You can really love your family with food in a really healthy way," Donnelly said.
Despite some hesitations, most parents quickly learn that making healthy meals is easy.
"I've learned to make spaghetti and lemon chicken it's actually a good way to cook for your own child so you understand what's good for them and what's not," said parent, Kelly Travers.
Beth says that is what it is all about.
"So when you see that light bulb go off and they just feel really good about it that there's another way to provide for their families. It's really empowering," Donnelly said. "It fills me with incredible joy to be able to use my time to create a meal that will nourish them and make them feel good."