Hosted locally by Operation Food Search, the largest free food bank in the St. Louis area, Share Our Strength’s Cooking Matters is a groundbreaking nutrition education program that utilizes chefs and nutritionists who volunteer their time and expertise to lead hands-on courses that instruct adults, teens and kids how to prepare healthy, safe and tasty meals on a limited budget. We work with various sites in the Saint Louis area to provide free 6 week cooking and nutrition classes to low-income community members. Each class meets once a week for about two hours and throughout the course we teach participants about MyPlate, food safety, how to read a recipe, knife skills and how to identify aspects of the Nutrition Facts Panel. All training, materials and curriculum is provided to make it easy and fun for volunteers to teach the courses!
Cooking Matters Signature Courses
Operation Food Search offers seven different types of Cooking Matters courses. Courses cover basic nutrition and healthy eating, food preparation and safety, budgeting, and grocery shopping. All course are taught by trained culinary and nutrition volunteers.
- Cooking Matters for Adults teaches low-income adults (primarily adults with children) how to prepare and shop sensibly for healthy meals on a limited budget. The program is often paired with Cooking Matters EXTRA for Parents of Preschoolers, an addendum focused specifically on adults with preschool-age children or Cooking Matters EXTRA for Diabetes, addenda offering specialized information for adults living with diabetes. Cooking Matters for Adults and Cooking Matters EXTRA for Parents of Preschoolers are available in both English and Spanish.
- Cooking Matters for Kids engages kids ages 8 to 12 in learning about healthy eating and provides simple nutritious recipes that children can prepare themselves.
- Cooking Matters for Families teaches school-age children (ages 6 to 12) and their parents about healthy eating as a family and the importance of working together to plan and prepare healthy meals on a budget.
- Cooking Matters for Teens teaches teens how to make healthy food choices, meals and snacks for themselves, their families and friends.
- Cooking Matters for Child Care Professionals teaches child care professionals about healthy meal preparation and creating a healthy food environment for the kids in their care.