Homeless family bonds over cooking lessons

Crystal Cooper was searching for a local food bank online when she ran across the listing for cooking classes at The Kitchen at Second Harvest. Crystal grew up learning to cook, and wants to pass on the skill to her sons, now 15 and 16.

“I’ve always loved cooking,” she said. “It’s just something I wanted to show my kids.” The family of four is currently homeless, living in an RV while they wait to be approved for a studio apartment in Spokane.

“It became a family night for us – something to get away from our housing situation,” she said. “Something normal. As a mom this class has helped us more than you know. And we get to spend time with the kids and with some food without draining our wallet more.”

Crystal has been to several classes with her husband Jamie and sons Kenny and Christian. “I’m trying to show my kids different ways to cook,” she said. Jamie also wanted to get to know the kids better – he’s their stepfather, and they’ve been together seven years, she said.

“He did pizzas and fast food and stuff - I wanted to show him cooking was fun,” she said. “Now he's realizing he can do it too.”