It's Dinnertime

Assumptions are rampant about the dining habits of low-income Americans, including that they are frequent consumers of fast food and that they do not eat together often as a family nor prioritize healthy eating. Through It's Dinnertime: A Report on Low-Income Families' Efforts to Plan, Shop for, and Cook Healthy Meals, we learn that low-income families are cooking dinner at home, mostly from scratch, but are not eating as healthfully as they'd like. Through our No Kid Hungry campaign, Share Our Strength is connecting these families with the food and skills they need to put healthy meals on the table every day.

  • Eight in 10 families make dinner at home at least five times a week. Most of the time, low-income families are cooking dinners at home from scratch. They are using easy-to-prepare packaged foods on other nights. View Graphic

  • In a typical week, a low-income family cooks dinner from scratch on four nights, makes dinner from packaged foods on two nights, and eats fast food on one night. 61% are making dinner from scratch most days of the week. View Graphic

  • Low-income families want to make healthy meals, and believe eating healthy is realistic for them, but are struggling to do so. Eighty-five percent of respondents say that eating healthy meals is important to their families. View Graphic

  • Families view cost as the primary barrier to healthy eating. Although families are largely satisfied with the variety (61%) and quality (64%) of healthy grocery items available to them, only 30% are satisfied with price. View Graphic

  • Low-income families that regularly plan meals, write grocery lists and budget for food make healthy meals from scratch more often (5+ times a week) than those who don't. View Graphic

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Cooking Matters National Sponsors

The ConAgra Foods Foundation   Walmart


It’s Dinnertime was featured in the USA Today Snapshot on February 23, 2012. Click here to see.

Read the press release about It's Dinnertime

Please contact Laura Hosny [email | 202-649-4335] for all media inquiries about It's Dinnertime.


Learn more about low-income families' efforts to plan, shop for and cook healthy meals by reading It's Dinnertime.

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The ConAgra Foods Foundation

The ConAgra Foods Foundation, a national sponsor of Cooking Matters, funded It's Dinnertime as part of its effort to better understand and address the issue of child hunger in the U.S. Read more here »

Read more about Share Our Strength's partnership with The ConAgra Foods Foundation here »