As part of the No Kid Hungry campaign to end childhood hunger in America, Capital Area Food Bank partners with the national nonprofit Share Our Strength to offer Cooking Matters® in the Washington metro area. Cooking Matters volunteer culinary and nutrition instructors teach families at risk of hunger how to cook for themselves and maximize their family’s nutrition on a budget.
By empowering families to cook for themselves on a budget, we give them the skills to live a healthier life.
Our classes are 2 hours long, once a week, for a six week period. The classes are participatory in that the nutritional lessons are discussion based and the cooking portion includes all participants in recipe preparation. We provide take-home groceries to all participants at the end of each class to practice the skills they learned at home. Then we conduct a grocery store tour on the 5th class that teaches participants how to choose the healthiest options at the grocery store, while stretching their food dollars.
In the last class, we hold a graduation ceremony for all participants who attend at least 4 out of 6 classes, whom we give gifts to help them while cooking at home. This includes a new cutting board, graduation certificate, and other items such as spices. All participants receive a Cooking Matters Grocery Bag and a participant guide which includes recipes and helpful hand-outs.
Click here for lessons you can teach in your community and to learn more about the program.