Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA.) visited La Cocina VA to learn more about our Bilingual Culinary Training Program, cook with our students, and assist them in passing out meals to low-income families in the area. During his visit, the students treated the Representative who serves on the House Committee on Natural Resources to a honey-crusted cricket salad and gluten-free chocolate chip and cricket cookies.
Who knew that a cricket could be so delicious!
Patricia Funegra, CEO and Founder of La Cocina VA, explained to Rep. Beyer and the students that, “Crickets add protein into people’s diets… and are also a sustainable food.” One of La Cocina VA’s aims is to introduce healthy and sustainable food into the modern diet and this sometimes means thinking outside of the box! La Cocina Va partners with a cricket farm in Austin, Texas that raises crickets solely for human consumption using organic practices and USDA certified organic custom feed.
In addition to trying the crickets, Beyer helped the students prepare a meal of spaghetti and turkey meatballs for the low income residents of affordable housing communities in Arlington. He joined them in distributing the free meals and marveled at the active and influential role that La Cocina VA is playing in the DC metro area. La Cocina VA’s Food Assistance Program provides these meals, prepared by the students in the training program, every day to families in need and incorporates their preparation into the training program curriculum, which currently has 100% rate of completion and job placement. “To have 100% completion is something to be proud of,” said Patricia Funegra.