Next Step Ministries

Cooking & Wellness Program

Middle of the Root partners with Next Step Ministries, Inc. to provide our Cooking & Wellness Program to the women and children staying at this transitional safe house. Classes are taught once a week by amazingly talented women from our community who engage, educate and empower the guests at Next Step Ministries on various topics and skills. We keep a small team at Next Step Ministries due to the sensitive nature and confidentiality of the home. Instructors must undergo a background check and sign a confidentiality agreement. 

Our 20-week pilot program started in Fall of 2017 with Next Step Ministries and we found that engagement through cooking lends to conversations and better understanding about the complex nature of domestic violence situations, poverty and the barriers for women head of households. We cook together and talk in our one and a half hour classes, children are involved in the process adding to the experience for everyone. As we continue in our third year with Next Step Ministries we continue to listen, adapt/improve our programming for the women and children participating and cook and eat seasonal, local meals together.

Cooking & Wellness Instructors

Chef Angelica Dantzler

Angelica’s inspirations for cooking were her grandmother and dad where we would spend hours in the kitchen making everything from baked goods to southern favorites.


Once she realized cooking was her passion she began to pursue the necessary education and training to be credible in her profession.

She is a graduate of Johnson and Wales University with an associate in culinary arts and bachelors in food service management.

Mieka Stoneking

In June of 2002, Mieka says she made one of the best decisions of her life when she moved to the beautiful state of North Carolina from Oklahoma.


She works as a Software Project and Quality Assurance Manager and wife and proud mother of two teen boys.


She is a home cook and nerdy food enthusiast that spends way too much time on Pinterest and watching cooking shows.


Mieka is looking forward to sharing all the foodie stuff she’s learned in her day-to-day life with people in our community.

Elizabeth Hronek

Liz Hronek is on a mission to empower millions of people to improve their lives by living happy and healthy.

As someone who spent her entire childhood overweight and being bullied her

experiences have given her a first-hand experience in not only the physical, but the emotional effects of being overweight.  This is what drives her to help others find their inner strength.

Liz is a certified personal trainer through Interactive Fitness Trainers of America in addition to completing the Nutritional Therapy program at The Health Sciences Academy.

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