Cooking Matters and the National Head Start Association Take 10,000 Families Grocery Shopping
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 3, 2013
National Harbor, MD – Today, the National Head Start Association (NHSA) and Share Our Strength announced a new partnership to connect young children to healthy food by offering Cooking Matters at the Store grocery store tours to 10,000 Head Start families this year.
“If we are able to help moms of young kids build cooking and shopping skills, we can connect kids with the healthy food they need every day,” said Billy Shore, President and Co-Founder of Share Our Strength. “This is a goal that Share Our Strength and the National Head Start Association share. Together, we can instill healthy habits early in a child’s life in order to make a positive impact on their entire life.”
Share Our Strength will provide funding of $100,000 to NHSA for staff and mini-grants to local Head Start agencies, as well as training for all facilitators and materials for all participants. NHSA will engage local Head Start agencies as they offer tours to their parents. NHSA has committed to reaching 10,000 Head Start families in 2013, with an eye to reaching many more in the next two years.
Quality education to build cooking and shopping skills is essential to help connect kids at risk of hunger to healthy food every day. The vast majority of low-income families want to provide healthy meals at home, but many struggle to afford healthy groceries and prepare meals in ways their family will enjoy. Cooking Matters participants learn smart shopping by reading food labels and comparing unit prices, hands-on cooking skills, and how to get the most out of their food resources. With these types of food skills, families are empowered to make healthy meals on a tight budget.
In 2012, more than 9,500 people participated in Cooking Matters at the Store grocery store tours, seven times the number of participants in 2011. When asked if the tour had an impact, 77 percent of participants said they intended to try one or more three key behaviors including comparing unit prices, reading ingredient lists, or comparing Nutrition Facts labels to make healthy food choices.
Cooking Matters at the Store is part of the national Cooking Matters program, which serves families through six-week cooking courses, grocery store tours and educational tools. Founded in 1993, Cooking Matters has served more than 100,000 families across the country. Cooking Matters has been featured by First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let's Move! campaign and recognized by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for excellence in nutrition education.
About Share Our Strength’s Cooking Matters
As part of the national No Kid Hungry campaign working to end childhood hunger in America, Cooking Matters empowers low-income families to stretch their food budgets so their children get healthy meals at home. In hands-on cooking courses and interactive grocery store tours, participants learn to shop smarter, use nutrition information to make healthier choices, and cook delicious, affordable meals. Cooking Matters equips families with the skills they need to stretch their food dollars and maximize the benefits they receive through public nutrition programs like SNAP (food stamps) and WIC (Women, Infants and Children). The ConAgra Foods® Foundation and Walmart are national sponsors of Cooking Matters. For more, visit CookingMatters.org.
About Head Start
The National Head Start Association is a non-partisan, not-for-profit organization committed to the belief that every child, regardless of circumstances at birth, has the ability to succeed in life. NHSA is the voice for more than 1 million children, 200,000 staff and 1,600 Head Start grantees in the United States. Since 1974, NHSA has worked diligently for policy changes that ensure all at-risk children have access to the Head Start model of support for the whole child, the family and the community. NHSA offers an impressive portfolio of professional development services and programs for the entire early childhood community.
Tali Caiazza, firstname.lastname@example.org, 202-594-3593