Cooking Matters: Feeding Families, One Lesson at a Time
The national non-profit organization Share Our Strength is the mastermind behind the Cooking Matters program. Its “No Kid Hungry” campaign is dedicated to a crusade of ending childhood hunger. The collaborative efforts of corporate sponsors, local non-profits, and an array of volunteers work together to promote nutrition awareness and motivate food access to more low-income families and under-served communities. A measure of their success grows each year as Share Our Strength inches closer to its goal of ending childhood hunger by the year 2015.
Cooking Matters is a newer program that reverts back to relatively older, more traditional fundaments. Its focus is similar to that of the late “Home Economics” class, but is tailored to fit the lifestyle of today’s work-driven, hunger-ridden individual.
The curriculum aims to teach participants of varying age and cultural demographics how to prepare nutritious and affordable meals. Each customized program for kids, teens, adults, families, young parents and childcare professionals. It includes activities and recipes that make the course simple and fun for all! Lessons include everything from USDA MyPlate food groups to creating a pleasant atmosphere during mealtime to weekly budgeting and menu planning. Culinary and dietetic professionals that serve as volunteers with the program lend their diverse expertise to each class.
The program is the greatest resolution to ending hunger and providing nourishment that this nation has seen since the need increased with the implosion of cheap, unhealthy convenience foods in the 1950’s. With the help of grants from corporate sponsors like ConAgra foods and Walmart, Cooking Matters is able to operate on a large-scale. The Cooking Matters program is now hosted at almost 30 sites throughout the country and has served over 60,000 families since it began in 1993. Data shows that 85% of participants graduate from the program with a greater awareness of nutrition, healthy habits and budgeting skills.