By MaryCatherine Karcich, Contributing Writer
Marlborough – The nonprofit organization Cooking Matters Massachusetts is offering a six-week course to educate families on healthy eating.
Cooking Matters is part of a larger movement called Share Our Strength that believes no child in America should go hungry. The 2010 launch of Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign has raised awareness and sparked an ongoing battle to end childhood hunger nationwide. Cooking Matters plays a vital role in educating families so they can feed their children nutritious meals while on a tight budget.
Throughout Massachusetts, Cooking Matters focuses its efforts in areas of high need. The organization develops partnerships with agencies that serve low-income families, most of whom are enrolled in federal assistance programs.
The courses are hands-on as moms, dads and caregivers follow a curriculum based on a philosophy that meets people where they are in their lives. Some individuals don’t know where to begin when it comes to shopping for nutritious meals on a budget. With the knowledge and help of their course team, they are guided to get started.
The courses also give participants the opportunity to prepare recipes from the Cooking Matters cookbook. These recipes are developed by chefs, are affordable and taste good. At the end of the course, participants enjoy their meals and provide feedback. They are also given a bag of groceries for practicing a recipe at home.
Along with the six-week courses, Cooking Matters Mass. offers one-time grocery store opportunities called Cooking Matters at the Store. Participants are educated on planning and budgeting to make healthy yet affordable meals.
According to Jessica Caouette, senior program manager for Cooking Matters Mass., about 4,000 people are reached throughout the state each year between the two programs.
Caouette recognizes that Cooking Matters offers confidence and skills for families to have a positive mealtime experience.
“A lot of transformation happens over the six-week period,” she said. “Everyone has a story to share.”
Past participants have expressed their gratitude and shared their experiences with Cooking Matters through the organization’s website. Mother of two, Carie, learned how to balance her time in the kitchen between cooking and taking care of her young boys. She also discovered healthier and more budget-friendly options to make nutritious meals.
“My belly thanks you. My wallet thanks you. My family thanks you,” she said. “And our health thanks you!”
Cooking Matters Mass. is working hard to make No Kid Hungry a reality. Between raising awareness on the issue of hunger and offering resources to families, the organization continues its education to ensure kids have healthy food every day.
The Marlborough courses are being held once a week for two hours through Wednesday, May 2.