Cooking class offered for adults with disabilities


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — It’s the month of thanks and we are sure thankful for a local organization that gives adults with disabilities a chance to be just like anyone else.

The Cape Fear Enrichment Program started a few years back and one of the activities offered is a cooking class.

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Brian Stephens is becoming chef Brian for the afternoon. He’s cooking up a tasty dish with Linda Mechling. Today’s menu included shrimp alfredo bake.

“Well you have to go to the grocery store to buy it,” Stephens said. “You have to buy the tomato paste, and the shrimp, and the cream cheese, the mushrooms, and the cheese.”

The two have been cooking together for more than a year now. It’s an activity offered as part of the Cape Fear Enrichment Program.

The organization provides opportunities within the community to enrich lives of adults with disabilities and for Brian it’s making a homemade meal.

“The goal in the cooking for Brian, and for others, is independence and a sense of pride,” Mechling said. “We wanted to get away from sort of the tradition cooking program where you just cook a small snack and you sit down and eat it. I mean that’s reinforcement too but we wanted them to be able to cook a meal, a main dish, and share that with others.”

Mechling says they’ve prepared several recipes and the time spent with one another is invaluable.

“I knew he was up to the challenge and so that’s been exciting for me to see his progress with those little more difficult skills,” Mechling said.

There are lots of other activities offered including water aerobics, a movement class, a composting program, and art classes.