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Following the successful implementation and scalability of the initiative in India and Mexico, NNEdPro and the MTK initiative received the 2022 Program Impact Award from the Society of Nutrition Education and Behavior in the USA and with generous support from the Jampolis Family, we have been extending our work to address food and nutrition insecurity in the United States, in line with the 2022 White House initiative. Two interventions are currently underway in Washington, DC, and New York City. 

Where are we now?

Washington, DC 


An intercollegiate model has been proposed for the MTK adaptation in the Washington, DC area. In this model, seven preceptors comprising medical students from Georgetown University in collaboration with culinary professionals, have recruited 7 champions from the Georgetown and Howard Universities within Washington DC. 


​These champions were drawn from amongst college students who have insights or lived experiences regarding college hunger. The objective was to train these college students with preceptorship from the medical student facilitators, such that they became MTK champions and within the coming months will conduct two pop-up events around micro enterprise. These food based micro enterprise pop up events targeted two audiences. These ticketed events provided culinary experiences for these audiences in which they were served low cost, healthy, nutritious, and tasty meals which are nutritionally complete and served up along with health education. The entire process of training Champions using a “See One, Do One, Teach One” model as well as the impact of the pop-up events, centred on food based micro enterprise, involved the measurement of knowledge, attitudes, and practices as well as other cognitive measures which will enable us to predict the future course of both the culinary health education as well as micro enterprise. Early insights were shared at the learning lab within the Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior annual conference in Washington DC on the 20th of July 2023. 


In November, training kicked off with the introduction of two modules — Basics of Nutrition (1A), Culinary Nutrition Education (1B), and Event Planning and Microenterprise (2). These modules, housing pre-recorded material, were seamlessly integrated into a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). Each module's learned content was further solidified through discussion sessions held on November 9 and 22, fostering valuable interactions between the NNEdPro Team and US MTK Champions. 


New York City 


In March 2023, the NY champions embarked on an exciting culinary journey, commencing with a conceptual workshop on March 23rd. The workshop featured in-depth presentations on the origins of the MTK, its international adaptation, and its potential in the US, especially in New York City. Engaging breakout groups determined the subsequent steps, outlining the involvement of individuals in preceptorship, champion training, and potential target populations within the Brooklyn community. 


On the afternoon of March 24th, the culinary narrative unfolded at the Brooklyn Culinary Community Center. Veronica Flores Bello, the driving force behind the MTK initiative in Mexico, conducted a captivating culinary demonstration. Inspired by the Mexican MTK cookbook currently in genesis, the demonstration featured a vegan menu with a variety of dishes. These nutrient-rich, protein-packed, and low-cost meals boasted a low glycemic index, aligning with the MTK's health-centric approach. 


Excitingly, the NY champions, immersed in the "See One, Do One, Teach One" philosophy, actively participated in the sessions. These hands-on experiences were highly successful, setting the stage for a transformative journey. 


Adding to our achievements, we are thrilled to announce the recruitment of a coordinator from the New York Healthcare Community. Alongside culinary experts and other preceptors, we anticipated further training for MTK Champions in New York over the past months. Our projection included hosting two ticketed pop-up culinary events by July 2023, with one targeting the Brooklyn community, infused with health messaging. The second event aimed at an external audience, exploring the potential of the New York MTK as a thriving micro-enterprise while disseminating health education across diverse socio-economic groups. Both events were successful, providing valuable insights into the MTK's potential impact in the US. 


As we gaze into 2024, our roadmap includes the release of pre-recorded cooking demonstrations featuring 15 diverse menu templates (5 from India, 5 from Mexico, and 5 from the US) on the VLE, scheduled for phased online release between February and June. Following this, US Champions will select and prepare a couple of meals out of the 15, documenting their culinary journey to be shared in July. This marks the inception of Phase 3 (Microenterprise), with the official cookbook-based digital course planned for July onwards. 


March 2023

  • Focus on the New York and Washington DC regions

  • Phase 1 begins

  • Usage of intercollegiate model with accelerated micro-enterprise

  • D.C. region: collaboration with MedStar Health and the Food is Medicine club at Georgetown University School of Medicine

  • New York region: collaboration with SUNY Downstate Medical Center and BCCC

July 2023

  • Face to face Culinary Nutrition Training and Culinary Experience events organised in NYC and Washington, DC

October - November 2023

  • Phase 2 begins in the US

  • Basics of Nutrition (Module 1A) training

  • Culinary Nutrition Education Training (Module 1B)

  • Discussion session for Modules 1A and 1B training

  • Event Planning and Micro-Enterprise (Module 2) training

  • Discussion session for Module 2 training


February to June 2024

  • Pre-recorded cooking demonstrations uploaded onto the virtual learning environment (VLE)

  • Training of MTK Champions on 10 menu templates:

    • 3 from USA

    • 4 from Mexico

    • 3 from India


July to December 2024

Phase 3 begins in the US:

  • Launch of Culinary Nutrition Course

  • Focus on the micro-enterprise aspect of the MTK initiative to generate additional revenue and funds for future projects

  • Continued data collection and analysis

  • Utilising revenue from microenterprise events to give back to target communities in Washington D.C. and Brooklyn, NYC, via subsidised culinary nutrition education events

  • Scaling up MTK in other parts of the USA


In 2024, Cindy Munkhgerel, one of the Champions and the Project Coordinator from October 2023 to April 2024 for the US MTK, received the Advancing Women’s Empowerment & Service (AWES) fellowship, a newly established programme by Georgetown University to empower students passionate about addressing gender disparities across various industries. The fellowship selects a small cohort of fellows who engage in relevant coursework and receive mentorship from a Practitioner in Residence to enhance their leadership abilities. 

project team



US MTK Advisory Panel  

​Aimee Afable - Faculty at SUNY Downstate   

Alka Gupta - Chief Medical Officer & Co-Founder, Bluerock Care 

Chef Markees - Brownsville Community Culinary Center, Brooklyn

Dan Maunder - Georgetown University School of Medicine Food is Medicine Club 

Dar Yoffe - Georgetown University School of Medicine Food is Medicine Club 

Dorothy Nankanja - Technical Resources International, Inc  

Elizabeth Helzner - Faculty at SUNY Downstate   

Eloísa Trinidad - Community Food NGO Lead  

Emily Johnston - Faculty at NYU

Emily Katz - Georgetown University School of Medicine Food is Medicine Club  

Golbahar Yazdanifar - Georgetown University School of Medicine Food is Medicine Club  

Jahanda King - Dietitian, Brownsville Community Culinary Center, Brooklyn 

Jasia Steinmetz - Faculty at Wisconsin / SNEB Past President & Representative 

Jessica Daly - Georgetown University School of Medicine Food is Medicine Club  

Kate Burbank - Georgetown University School of Medicine Food is Medicine Club   

Mariana Markell - Faculty at SUNY Downstate

Martin Kohlmeier - Faculty at UNC Chapel Hill   

Melina Jampolis - Physician Nutrition Specialist & Principal Funder   

Neha Kumar - Lifestyle Medicine 

Nicole Farmer - NIH Intramural Scientist in Bethesda 

Olivia Lawler - Faculty at Penn State University  

Robert Hay - Medical Society of DC 

Scott Nichols - Georgetown University School of Medicine Food is Medicine Club

Terri Stone - Physician at Medstar & Director of Fresh & Savory Culinary Medicine Program at Georgetown

Tiffany Powell-Wiley - NIH Intramural Scientist in Bethesda 

Travis D Masterson - Faculty at Penn State University

Chef Vander Carter - JestGreen 

Virginie Zoumenou - Faculty at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore   


NYC MTK Champion & Trainees Group (Future Culinary Health Educators & Microentrepreneurs)   

Colette Boston 

Verda S Bataille

DC MTK Champion Trainees Group (Future Culinary Health Educators & Microentrepreneurs) 

Laila Muhammad 

Ruth Kayongo 

US MTK Culinary Lead

Chef Rebecca Johnson - The Plant Rich Life

US MTK Central Project Management Team   

Jenneffer Tibaes Braga - Data Science, Evidence Synthesis & Education  

Kai Sento Kargbo - Data Science & Evidence Synthesis & Education

Matheus Abrantes - Joint Project Management Lead

Pauline Douglas - Project Governance/Risk Management    

Sarah Armes - Data Science, Evidence Synthesis & Education  

Sarah Anderson - Joint Project Management Lead

Sucheta Mitra - Joint Project Management Lead, Research & Education

Sumantra (Shumone) Ray - Principal Investigator (MTK International Initiative)

Tecla Coleman - Deputy Principal Investigator (US MTK)

Veronica Flores Bello - Deputy Principal Investigator (Mexico MTK)

Veronica Funk Petric - Operational Support

Wanja Grace Nyaga - Data Science, Evidence Synthesis & Education

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