By Melinda Burns

    Would you like to learn how to create some delicious kabobs for the grill? Make a hearty, healthy soup for those cool nights? (They’ll be back before you know it!)  Or how about an easy way to serve up some Munchies for March Madness games?  Students in Adult Education were able to do just that this semester at the Honest Weight Food Co-op, 100 Watervliet Ave., Albany. Through a new partnership with Wildwood’s Adult Education and the Co-op, cooking classes were offered to the public and took place at the teaching kitchen on-site at Honest Weight.

    Deanna Beyer, Education Coordinator at Honest Weight, was enthusiastic about the partnership with Wildwood. “We are so pleased to be able to work with Wildwood and offer these classes! Everyone was able to learn their way around a kitchen, practice food preparation skills and gain knowledge in a supportive, fun environment.”

    Through the partnership, the Co-op provided the advertising and marketing, ingredients, beautiful color copies of the recipes, and access to all of the utensils and supplies needed for the cooking classes. Wildwood developed the courses, created the recipes and provided instruction on food preparation and safety skills. “I love coming here. It feels like a professional kitchen,” said one enthused student. “I’m learning so much that I will be able to do myself at home.”

    Melinda Burns, director of adult education, felt that Wildwood’s mission matched the Honest Weight Food Co-op’s perfectly. “The emphasis on Learning for Life is at the heart and soul of what we do. Partnering with the Co-op was a good match and such a natural fit. We always want to work with community partners to increase learning opportunities.” Adult Education was established in 1999 and marks its 20th year this year! “Over the 20 years, we have offered over 100 different classes to over 500 students and continue to seek out new relationships, locations and partnerships to continue the mission.”

    Cooking continues to be one of the favorite Adult Education classes. Becky Thayer, adult education instructor, emphasizes nutrition, budgeting and safety to ensure that students feel confident and comfortable. “Cooking at home allows you to create something delicious, pick the ingredients, and save money. Students have a great time learning skills together in class, then take the recipes home to try them. Honest Weight helped by creating an easy to follow recipe format with pictures so student could find ingredients easily. We love working in the Teaching Kitchen at the Co-op!”  

    The partnership between Wildwood and the Honest Weight Food Co-op will continue with additional classes and projects planned.    

    For more information about Adult Education and community partnerships, please contact Melinda Burns at: For more information on the Honest Weight Food Co-op and upcoming classes, please visit

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