Healthy. Affordable. Delicious. These three basic words help define the Cooking Matters approach to ending childhood hunger and helping families shop for and prepare healthy meals.
Cooking Matters is an initiative through Share Our Strength that works to “end childhood hunger by inspiring families to make healthy, affordable food choices.” In August, the Food Bank for Larimer County launched its Cooking Matters program offering families in need the opportunity to learn how to make their food dollars stretch further while preparing healthy meals for their families. The initial Cooking Matters classes have been held at partner locations like the Murphy Center and the Sunrise Loveland Summer Fair.
Learn more about Cooking Matters in the video below.
Whitney Helton is the Food Bank’s nutrition education coordinator and the person responsible for building and delivering the Cooking Matters curriculum. “I spent a lot of time in Denver training with the Cooking Matters team, learning what classroom topics are most effective and how to engage volunteers in this process,” Whitney said. “Cooking Matters provides a ton of program materials, tools and resources to help our families to remove the barrier of providing healthy meals. I can’t wait to get started.”
The Food Bank’s Cooking Matters program consists of two tracks: grocery store tours and classroom work. “The grocery store tours are a great source of information for our participants,” Whitney said. “During the tours, we focus on nutritional content, unit pricing and other elements that help our families get the most out of their food budgets while preparing healthy and delicious meals. Our classroom curriculum will be hands-on, giving participants the opportunity to put their skills into practice.”
Through the partnership with Share Our Strength, the Cooking Matters program will serve families from food insecure households with a priority given to those with children 5 and under. Whitney is currently working with the Food Bank’s partner agencies to register the first Cooking Matters class, with the goal of graduation by the end of the summer.
Look for more information throughout the summer on the Food Bank’s Cooking Matters program. If you are interested in volunteering for the Cooking Matters program or would like to sign up for a class, contact Whitney Helton.