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Cooking Matters

Share Our Strength’s Cooking Matters™ empowers families at risk of hunger with the skills, knowledge and confidence to make healthy and affordable meals.

A Foundation for a Healthy, Thriving Community

cooking matters participants smiling with food

More than 1,300 people took part in VNA’s Cooking Matters program in 2016 and walked away with the knowledge to make smarter, healthier choices.

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Why Does Cooking Matter?

Hunger doesn’t discriminate. It strikes children in rural and urban settings, from single- and two-parent households, and it crosses all racial and ethnic lines. 13 million American children struggle with hunger. What all these children have in common is that hunger puts them at greater risk of suffering the lifelong consequences of impaired health and academic performance. The Cooking Matters program provides the knowledge, skills and confidence families need to make the most of whatever resources they have to feed their families.

With the help of volunteer culinary and nutrition experts, course participants learn how to select nutritious and low-cost ingredients and prepare them in ways that provide the best nourishment possible to their families. VNA partners with Share Our Strength (SOS) to offer cooking, shopping and nutrition education to families at risk of hunger in the metro Omaha area through Cooking Matters classes and Cooking Matters at the Store Events. Cooking Matters is nationally sponsored by Walmart.

You can find the latest schedule of Cooking Matters events on our Events Calendar.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the results of the Cooking Matters program?

Cooking Matters is an evidence-based program, designed to strategically equip families with the knowledge and skills to make healthier, more informed and more economical decision when preparing meals for their family. The results are immediate after we teach classes – families get a delicious, healthy meal and go home with new skills! We also formally assess participant behavior change through surveys at the end of the course. The data we collect is important for tracking the success of the program, and we love reading the feedback from the families.

“A few weeks before class, I would eat McDonald’s for breakfast and lunch almost every day. Now I can’t look at a fast food place without thinking about fat/cholesterol and I have cut those down drastically. I really loved the class and the instructors. Learning that I need better nutrition in addition to exercise I think will help me be healthier as a diabetic.”

— Cooking Matters for Adults participant, Charles Drew Health Center

Want more information?

To become a host site or to volunteer, please contact Anna Curry at

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Hungry to Help?

One in five children in Nebraska are considered food insecure. Help parents provide nourishing meals for their kids by contributing to VNA.

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