February 2, 2016
By Jenny Schmidt
Cooking Matters is a free program in partnership with the No Kid Hungry campaign dedicated to teaching individuals and families on how to make healthier choices. They focus on learning how to properly read nutrition labels, improving shopping skills and cooking healthy, delicious and affordable meals.
Volunteers have aided thousands of low-income individuals and families across the United States. The program offers six weeks of hands-on learning experiences with healthy cooking tips and educational tools on daily nutrition habits to help both adults and children grasp the material. The three main volunteer positions are store tour leaders, culinary instructors and nutrition instructors.
Store tour leaders provide interactive grocery store tours that help individuals and families learn how to make healthy food choices on a tight budget. Probable store tour leaders may be registered dietitians or dietitian students, community nutritionists, culinary professionals and/or members from a community bureau that are interested in helping communal participants use their food resources wisely.
Culinary instructors teach participants how to cook with low-cost food sources and to make healthy choices while shopping. These culinary instructors are commonly graduates or students of a culinary program. Nutrition instructors utilize Cooking Matters lesson plans and materials to teach participants how to make healthy choices. Volunteers for this position are usually registered dietitians or dietetic students.
After the six weeks, participants attend a graduation ceremony and receive a diploma for completing the Cooking Matters program. These programs can be held in local community centers, schools and pantries. If you are interested to see if there is a program near you, check out their website.