Cooking Matters

BlackBeanandVegetableQuesadillasThis week’s post is a highlight of a nonprofit which brings their program to the one where I work. All this to say, I have seen how INCREDIBLE it is. Honestly, I have been raving about it to anyone that will listen.

Cooking Matters is a program that teaches a 6-week course on healthy eating, all on a SNAP budget. I am taking the course along with the program participants, and every single time I am impressed with the skills that they are teaching that build health in a very culturally appropriate way. For one, it recognizes that people don’t cook because they don’t have time, so they provide some quick solutions. Also, it teaches parents how to encourage their children to try new fruits and vegetables- all falling well within the SNAP budget. The program even includes a grocery store tour where each person is given $10 to feed a family of four, and they are able to do it! Please see this video about their tour… it is great!

mangosalsa“Nutrition” classes sound nice, but often are not implemented due to impracticality and cultural barriers. I truly believe that Cooking Matters is different. It is actually changing behaviors in order to enable people with low incomes to be healthier. This is important because there is a MAJOR health disparity between income levels, which is clearly unjust. Anything that can contribute to solving this should be supported. It is not that health is not important to low-income parents, 85% of low-income families say that providing healthy meals for their family is important. Cooking Matters helps them do that!

So, I would encourage you to volunteer or participate in a Cooking Matters program near you, or even just check out their website for some delicious recipes, tips on eating healthy, and ways to save money at the grocery store if you don’t have time to be a couponer.

Before I go, in the last class, we made black bean and vegetable quesadillas and mango salsa (both are pictured here). I would highly recommend you check out these recipes.

Have a wonderful weekend!

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