100,000 Low-Income Families Learn that Cooking Matters

Press / Media Release

December 7, 2012

Laura Hosny, Share Our Strength
(202) 649-4335

100,000 Low-Income Families Learn that Cooking Matters

Washington, D.C. – Eating healthy can be affordable and delicious, as 100,000 American families can attest after having attended a six-week Cooking Matters course.  The national program, part of Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign, recently taught its 100,000th participant, empowering each person who attends the course to stretch their food budget and cook healthy meals.

A new video, Why Cooking Matters, tells the story of a Cooking Matters class in Denver, Colo. Monique, a mother of three, has learned to introduce new, healthy foods to her children and says, “Things I didn’t think they’d like, they like!” To view the video, click here.

“Knowing how to shop on a budget and cook healthfully is the key to making sure that all kids get the healthy food they need every day,” said Janet McLaughlin, Senior Director, Cooking Matters. “Today, we are one step closer to making No Kid Hungry a reality in America and we are grateful to our many partners, volunteers and supporters who have helped us reach this milestone.”

Cooking Matters enters its 20th year in 2013, and has grown to serve more than 23,000 families annually. Share Our Strength partners with community organizations who serve low-income families to offer the six-week courses at more than 700 sites across the country. Each course is team-taught by a volunteer chef and nutrition educator and covers at-home meal preparation, smart grocery shopping, food budgeting and practical nutrition information.  Adult and teen participants take home a bag of groceries at the end of each class, so they can practice what they learned with their families.

By connecting kids in need with food through the federal nutrition programs and teaching their families how to cook healthy, affordable meals through Cooking Matters, the No Kid Hungry campaign surrounds children with healthy food where they live, learn and play.

More than 80 percent of adult Cooking Matters graduates say they learned to use key food budgeting strategies, such as planning meals ahead of time, comparing prices at the store, or shopping with a list.  As graduate Lareese Cathey, a mother receiving Women, Infants and Children (WIC) benefits, says, “Since the class, I can triple the value of my WIC check and feel good about what I’m feeding my kids.”

Cooking Matters is nationally sponsored by the ConAgra Foods® Foundation and Walmart. To volunteer, download recipes or learn more, visit CookingMatters.org.


No child should grow up hungry in America, but one in five children struggles with hunger. Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry® campaign is ending childhood hunger in America by ensuring all children get the healthy food they need, every day. The No Kid Hungry campaign connects kids in need to effective nutrition programs like school breakfast and summer meals and teaches low-income families to cook healthy, affordable meals through its Cooking Matters program.  This work is accomplished through the No Kid Hungry network, made up of private citizens, public officials, nonprofits, business leaders and others providing innovative hunger solutions in their communities. Join us at NoKidHungry.org.