Who We Are
Through Share Our Strength’s Cooking Matters campaign, we run programs with Massachusetts parents and caregivers that cover how to shop for and cook healthy, kid-friendly, and affordable meals.
Cooking Matters is a campaign of Share Our Strength that is helping end childhood hunger by inspiring families to make healthy, affordable food choices. Our goal is for all parents and caregivers to have the skills they need to regularly serve nutritious foods during pregnancy and to kids through age five. Working with partners from Boston to the Berkshires, and many places in between, our team delivers programming in the highest need communities throughout the state. Our programs take place at Head Start programs, health centers, community centers, shelters & transitional homes, and schools.
We run our programs with parents and caregivers, especially those with young children ages 0-5. We see the caregivers we work with as experts in their own lives and value their insights. We learn from them as much as they learn from us.
“I am now more aware. I love that I can do these recipes with my kids. I feel great knowing what’s good to buy at the grocery stores. It’s a big step in the right direction for my family and myself. I feel motivated to be healthy and involve my kids. I’m sad to have the course end, but I’m happy to take with me so much knowledge.” – Madeline, Cooking Matters Graduate
Where We’ve Been and Where We’re Going
Cooking Matters began serving the Boston area in 1994 and now works across the entire state of Massachusetts. Since 1994, we’ve reached over 49,000 participants in Massachusetts through our food skills education programs.
For many years, we ran six-week courses and grocery store tours – for Adults, Parents, and Families – in-person at community-based organizations and with the assistance of community volunteer culinary and nutrition instructors.
With the increased safety concerns brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, we are unable to offer our in-person six-week courses and have paused all volunteer opportunities for the foreseeable future. Since the spring of 2019, we have introduced newer, flexible programs, offered mostly online. These programs still focus on the food skills listed above but are topic-based and tailored to community-based organizations and parents’ needs. We do continue to offer our Cooking Matters at the Store program in an online format.
Since the Spring of 2019, we have introduced newer, flexible programs, offered online or in-person. These programs still focus on the food skills listed above, but are topic-based and tailored to community-based organizations and parents’ needs. We also continue to offer our Cooking Matters at the Store program online and in-person.
While these changes have altered the Cooking Matters experience, we have noted that offering online opportunities helps caregivers by taking away the need for them to find childcare, transportation, and the extra time to attend a six-week class. Caregivers also get the chance, in some cases, to cook alongside one of our staff facilitators in their own home, using their own tools and space.
Childhood Hunger in MA
Our sister campaign, No Kid Hungry, is ending childhood hunger in America by connecting kids in need with nutritious food. In Massachusetts, No Kid Hungry partners with Project Bread, an anti-hunger organization working to expand the Child and Adult Food Care Programs in the state. Here are some ways you can work with No Kid Hungry in Massachusetts:
- Learn more about Project Bread
- Fundraise with No Kid Hungry
- Donate to No Kid Hungry
- Other ways to help