As a community, we can often become disconnected from each other and even ourselves, especially this past 18 months as we've been separated by the pandemic. With your day-to-day routine, it can be hard to find something that can ease your mind and bring you new friends. The Macon Mental Health Matters group has created a way to bridge that gap with canning.

On Wednesday, June 30, a group of people got together to begin the first of many Canning and Counseling sessions. The first session including blanching peas and butter beans at Centenary Church Kitchen (1185 Ash Street). .

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"It's a new thing we're trying in Macon to create community, bring groups of people together, find things that help our mental health, and learn new skills to prepare fresh and healthy food," said Canning and Counseling Instructor Claire Cox.

"This is an opportunity for people to connect, but it's also an opportunity for people to take care of a basic need in making sure they have food," said CEO/Lead Therapist of Southern Center for Choice Theory Gloria Cisse. "When there's food in your house, it reduces the amount of stress that you might have."

The next session is Wednesday, July 7, 2021 from 10:30 – noon and will include making pickles. If you would like to join or go to other events, visit

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