Facebook group spreads positivity during pandemic

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MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT)– A Warner Robins man is cooking up positivity using social media.

Sheldon Hudlin says he wanted to find a way to make people smile during these current times.

“I went to the newspaper and I saw Happy Mother’s Day and then right after that it was like death, robberies, murder, and I was like, there’s just no positive news anywhere,” Hudlin said.

He then decided to start “Whatcha Got Cookin”, a Facebook group for sharing recipes, pictures of food, and videos of people making food. He says he was shocked the group has grown so quickly.

“We are not only across the United States, but probably 15 different countries as well. It’s incredible the reach that food has brought people,” Hudlin said.

The group has even received recognition from celebrity Chef Paula Dean.

Hudlin says he is not a chef, but was inspired by his late mother’s love for cooking. He says he wanted to share the same connectivity that food brought his family, with others.

“I am the owner of First Class Cleaning Service, and I love cleaning, I’ve done it since I was very small. I just love how cleaning transitions to cooking because my mom used to cook all the time,” Hudlin said, “We would sit and just watch her cook as kids as small kids. And me and both my other brothers. We all have a real desire to cook, we love the community that it draws within a family.”

April Bragg, President of the Robins Area Chamber of Commerce, says she is a part of the group and loves the community it provides.

“The unique thing about Whatcha got cooking is you know food is one of those things whether it’s in person or now as we’re seeing virtually we can all come together around,” said Brag.

Hudlin says that “Whatcha got Cookin” will not expire, and will keep simmering even after the pandemic.

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Peyton Lewis is a 20-year-old reporter from Stockbridge, Georgia. She graduated in December of 2019 with her Bachelor's Degree in Journalism from the University of Georgia. She found a love for reporting after receiving a video camera for her 8th birthday. She and her friends would make mock newscasts in her backyard other creative content. Peyton's love for writing and creating videos pushed her to pursue journalism. In order to kick-start her dream of being a reporter, she left the traditional high school experience at the age of 16 to attend Gordon State College as a full-time student. She graduated with her Associate's degree two weeks before graduating from high school. Previously, Peyton worked as a news intern for 11 Alive in Atlanta, a radio intern for the Joy FM, and a reporter/ technical manager for Grady Newsource. Peyton dreams to become an investigative reporter that leaves a lasting impact on the world around her. She loves Disney, dogs, spicy food, musicals, and her family. Peyton also enjoys reading, watching movies, cheering on the Dawgs, and going on new adventures.