HUNDREDS of Fraser Coast residents are about to heat up the kitchen as the Jamie Oliver Ministry of Food Mobile Kitchen rolls into Maryborough this morning.
More than 120 people have already signed up for the low-cost cooking classes, which aim to curb the region's growing obesity rate by teaching participants to cook nutritious meals instead of picking up fatty takeaways.
People wanting to take part in the second round of classes can book from April 23.
The program is an initiative by the British chef and fresh food crusader, who was shocked at the incidence of obesity and related illnesses in Australia - particularly in regional areas such as the Fraser Coast.
People who are unemployed or on a low income will take part for just $5, after the Fraser Coast Regional Council subsidised some places in the course, with the remaining classes set at $50 for five weekly lessons.
The first classes will be taught on Tuesday.
During the mobile kitchen's 11-week visit, teams of food educators will guide would-be cooks through classes demonstrating safe kitchen techniques, healthy meal planning, budgeting and shopping tips.
Up to 30 suitable volunteers from not-for-profit community organisations will also take part to assist and support participants as they learn kitchen skills.
Jamie's Ministry of Food Program director Alicia Peardon said the program was a practical solution to the problems of obesity and diet-related disease.
"Jamie's Ministry of Food is about getting people cooking again, teaching them the basics; how to cook, how to shop and how to enjoy food in a way that benefits not only individuals, but also their families," she said.
"We want to give as many people as possible the tools and information they need to be able to make better food choices."
The truck will move to a new location every 11 weeks, taking Mr Oliver's healthy message across the state.
Jamie's Ministry of Food Truck will arrive in Fraser Coast on April 14, and will be stationed at the Brolga Theatre carpark.
For bookings call the Live Life Healthy team at Fraser Coast Regional Council on 1300 794 929.
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