News and Updates

7 JULY 2020

In continued response to COVID19, we have schedule 7 upcoming ONLINE Cooking Matters for Childcare Professionals trainings. All trainings below are offered through the Colorado Shines PDIS system. Click on the links below for more information. 

Saturday 7/18- Creating Positive Mealtime Attitudes (9-11am), Partnering with Parents (11am-noon)

Tuesday 7/28- CMATS for CMCCP (6-7pm)

Saturday 8/8- Choosing Healthy Foods (9-11am), Safe Cooking (11am-noon)

Saturday 8/29- Meal Appeal (9-10am), Menu Management (10-11am)

To register, login to your PDIS account, view the calendar and sign up from there.


 

 

5 MAY 2020

In response to COVID19, we have schedule 6 upcoming ONLINE Cooking Matters for Childcare Professionals trainings. All trainings below are offered through the Colorado Shines PDIS system. Click on the links below  for more information and to register. 

Wednesday, May 13th / 1:00 - 3:00 pm
Choosing Healthy Food for Kids

Thursday, May 14th / 12:00 - 1:00 pm
Meal Appeal

Tuesday, May 19th / 1:30 - 2:30 pm
Menu Management on a Budget

Thursday, May 21st / 4:00 - 5:00 pm
Menu Management on a Budget

Saturday, May 30th / 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Choosing Healthy Food for Kids

Saturday, May 30th / 1:00 - 2:00 pm 
Meal Appeal

If you are interested in scheduling a virtual training for your staff, please contact Amber Troutman at atroutman@strength.org or 303-801-0178. 


 

4 MAY 2020

As a result of evolving national guidance and announcements about COVID-19, we have decided to extend our suspension of in-person programming until it is safe for our participants, volunteers and staff to gather (Date TBD). While we greatly miss leading programming in the community, we are excited about our new virtual and digital education formats. Please continue to monitor our News & Updates page (and these newsletters) where we will continue to share important updates.

Leadership Announcement 

It is with mixed sadness and gratitude that we announce Kelleen Zubick's departure as our State Director, effective May 4th. Thankfully, Kelleen is staying with Share Our Strength, having accepted a new role as Director of Health Strategies & Integration with the No Kid Hungry campaign. We are grateful to have worked under her incredible leadership for 5+ years.
As we look ahead to Cooking Matters’ next chapter, we remain steadfast in our goal to ensure a future where all families have the means to acquire healthy food the skills to prepare nutritious meals. If you have any questions or concerns during this transition process, please do not hesitate to reach out. On behalf of the Cooking Matters family both here and across the nation, we wish you the very best, Kelleen!

Welcoming Our New Associate Director

We’re excited to share that Gabriella (Gabby) Warner recently joined our talented team as Associate Director to oversee statewide programming in accordance with the Cooking Matters national strategy.

Gabby comes to us by way of the Colorado Department of Education’s School Nutrition Unit, where she supported a variety of efforts including Colorado’s Blueprint to End Hunger. She brings a wealth of related experience to this new role, previously serving as Program Director of LiveWell Colorado’s School Food Initiative and prior to that, implementing California’s USDA SNAP-Ed grant through the LA County Department of Public Health and LA County Office of Education. Please join us in welcoming Gabby!


 

17 APRIL 2020

With the COVID-19 outbreak restricting in-person programming, we're working hard to bring Cooking Matters to you! Read further to learn more about our website resources, social media initiatives, virtual programming and more.

 

Cooking Matters Food Skills Education and Family Support Resources

We've repurposed specific, relevant food skills education content from our courses and tours into simple and helpful public messages on our website. To date, we have developed six messages with a specific focus on topics that are supportive of family needs at this time: Food Storage, Stretching Ingredients, Bean Basics, Making Recipes Work for your Family, Pantry Staples: Whole Grains and Dried Spices & Herbs, and Getting Kids Involved in the Kitchen. These message are available on the Cooking Matters Colorado website and will be featured on CMCO’s social media channels for partners and participants to access.
FOOD SKILLS EDUCATION MESSAGE
FAMILY SUPPORT RESOURCES

The Cooking Matters national website also offers a collection of food skills education tips and videos that may be helpful for families at this time. Videos topics include: recipe demonstrations, meal planning, and saving money on grocery shopping.
COOKING MATTERS TIPS AND VIDEOS
This is an evolving resource, and above all we want it to meet the needs of our communities, so please send any suggested message topics to Laura Cornwell (lcornwell@strength.org).

 

Social Media Resources: Facebook Live, Shareable Messages, and Support Group

  1. Cooking Matters also is hosting Facebook Live conversations at 2 pm ET every Thursday in April. These sessions will be hosted live on the national Cooking Matters Facebook page. Topics will include cooking and shopping tips, recipes and ingredient substitution ideas, working with kids in the kitchen, and staying active while staying at home. Please feel free to share with your community and invite them to participate. 
  2. Follow Cooking Matters Colorado and Cooking Matters national on Facebook to keep up-to-date on additional resources, and to fine additional tips and links regarding food and nutrition. On the CMCO page, we are also reposting statewide information regarding food access, public health updates, and family support resources.
  3. Cooking Matters has also established a nationwide support group on Facebook: Cooking Matters! Food, Fun, and Family. Please feel free to join the group and share the invitation with your community.

 

Additional Resources for Families

 


 

8 APRIL 2020

In light of the coronavirus outbreak, we have made the difficult decision to cancel our annual fundraising gala, Chefs Up Front, which was scheduled for June7th at the Colorado Convention Center.  

The health and safety of all staff, volunteer and guests is our foremost concern for any event. We also want to take into consideration the people, organizations and businesses, including our chef and restaurant partners, that are, and will be, impacted by the outbreak in the weeks and months ahead.

Chefs Up Front is an important source of funding for our programs, and our ability to support families and children most vulnerable to crises like the one we currently facing. Nevertheless, Share Our Strength (the parent organization for Cooking Matters Colorado) is committed to continuing to support those who rely on our programs and are working to address immediate needs presented by the outbreak. Through Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign, we are quickly deploying grants for food banks and partners in our community and have launched a texting hotline to let parents know about emergency food distribution sites in their neighborhoods. We are advocating for families in need on the national level, while also exploring technology education models for Cooking Matters so that we can continue to reach parents and caregivers with practical guidance and advice for feeding their family during the outbreak.

During this time, we would greatly appreciate your support spreading the word about the free meal locations texting hotline. If your circumstances allow, we encourage you to check takeout and delivery options or purchase a gift card for future use to support our local restaurants, including many Chefs Up Front restaurant partners, during this difficult time. View this map of independent restaurants that have generously supported both of Share Our Strength’s - Cooking Matters and No Kid Hungry - campaigns.

We deeply appreciate your incredible support and we look forward to seeing you at our 2021 gala.


 

2 APRIL 2020

Dear Friends and Partners of Cooking Matters Colorado:

As a result of evolving national guidance and announcements about the coronavirus, Share Our Strength has extended our suspension of all in-person Cooking Matters programming until at least May 2020. Our primary aim remains for all staff, volunteers, community partners, and families we serve to stay safe and healthy. While we greatly miss being in the community leading programming, we are excited about the opportunity for innovation that this situation has pushed us toward. Cooking Matters Colorado is working hard to make content around stretching and utilizing food resources available virtually and digitally. We will update you as soon as these projects come to fruition over the next few weeks. 

Food Resource Management: Please encourage the families in your network to follow @cookingmatters.national on Facebook for ideas to stretch food resources, incorporate foods that can contribute to keeping immune systems healthy, and tips for engaging kids in food based activities with extended time at home. 

No Kid Hungry Text Line Helps Families Find Meals During Coronavirus School Closures: No Kid Hungry has launched a texting hotline to provide information about emergency food distribution sites in communities where schools have been closed due to COVID19. Families can text the word “FOOD” (or “COMIDA”) to 877877 to find their nearest sites. Make sure families know these meals are available and where they can find them by helping spread the word by sharing on social media and with your friends, family and colleagues. [Learn More]

Apply for the Colorado COVID-19 Emergency Hunger Relief Fund: The Colorado Blueprint to End Hunger has partnered with local funders to create a fund in response to the urgent food access and nutritional needs that have emerged as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. 

The COVID-19 Emergency Hunger Relief Fund is open for applications! The second round of applications will close on Wednesday, April 8th at noon and applicants will hear back with a decision within 5 to 7 business days. You can use this funding for operating funds, including food, staff, packaging, safety supplies, food transportation, client communications, etc. Grants (up to $25,000) are available with some geographic prioritization based on community needs. For more information in both English and Spanish, including the application, visit the Colorado Blueprint to End Hunger website.

Support Local Restaurants: If your circumstances allow, we encourage you to check takeout and delivery options or purchase a gift card for future use to support our local restaurants during this difficult time. Check out this map of restaurants that have generously supported both of Share Our Strength’s - Cooking Matters and No Kid Hungry - campaigns.

 

We will continue to communicate guidance as things evolve. Thank you for your patience and flexibility as we continue to monitor the situation and remain dedicated to helping families in need.  If you have questions or concerns, please contact us:


16 MARCH 2020

Dear Friends and Partners of Cooking Matters Colorado: 
  
As a result of evolving national guidance and announcements about the coronavirus, Share Our Strength has decided to suspend all in-person Cooking Matters programming until at least March 31 for sites in Colorado. Our primary aim is for staff, volunteers, community partners, and families we serve to stay safe and healthy, while we adopt the best-practice recommendations to create social distance as a means to minimize spread of the coronavirus. The Denver office is also currently closed and staff are working from home through March. During this time the office will be sanitized to improve the safety of visitors and staff when we re-open. We will continue to monitor the evolving situation and send updates as needed.
 
We continue to look forward to hosting Chefs Up Front on June 7th at the Four Seasons Ballroom at the Colorado Convention Center. Should the evolving need for social distancing as a means to preserve individual and community health extend into May, we plan to identify a later date in 2020 and to honor all commitments. To learn more about how you can reserve a table at this unique gala showcasing Denver’s finest chefs cooking tableside meals to support Cooking Matters’ work to help families at risk of hunger cook healthy food on a budget, visit https://www.chefsupfrontco.com/.
 
As an organization, we are committed to helping families in-need who are shouldering the impact of this epidemic. Here are four resources that explain our work to ensure kids continue to get the nutrition they need during this uncertain and difficult time: 

  1. A  letter to USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue, offering the agency our recommendations to be included in its guidance on Pandemic School Dismissals and Closures so that children can continue to receive meals while also adhering to CDC guidance.
  2. An issue explainer providing a deep dive into the federal policy solutions that can help support low-income families and children in-need.
  3. blog post outlining what Share Our Strength is doing in response to coronavirus and how you can help.
  4. Visit Feeding Colorado’s website to locate a food bank where you live.

 
We will continue to communicate guidance as things evolve. Thank you for your patience and flexibility as we continue to monitor the situation and remain dedicated to helping families in need.  If you have questions or concerns, please contact us:

News and Updates

7 JULY 2020

In continued response to COVID19, we have schedule 7 upcoming ONLINE Cooking Matters for Childcare Professionals trainings. All trainings below are offered through the Colorado Shines PDIS system. Click on the links below for more information. 

Saturday 7/18- Creating Positive Mealtime Attitudes (9-11am), Partnering with Parents (11am-noon)

Tuesday 7/28- CMATS for CMCCP (6-7pm)

Saturday 8/8- Choosing Healthy Foods (9-11am), Safe Cooking (11am-noon)

Saturday 8/29- Meal Appeal (9-10am), Menu Management (10-11am)

To register, login to your PDIS account, view the calendar and sign up from there.


 

 

5 MAY 2020

In response to COVID19, we have schedule 6 upcoming ONLINE Cooking Matters for Childcare Professionals trainings. All trainings below are offered through the Colorado Shines PDIS system. Click on the links below  for more information and to register. 

Wednesday, May 13th / 1:00 - 3:00 pm
Choosing Healthy Food for Kids

Thursday, May 14th / 12:00 - 1:00 pm
Meal Appeal

Tuesday, May 19th / 1:30 - 2:30 pm
Menu Management on a Budget

Thursday, May 21st / 4:00 - 5:00 pm
Menu Management on a Budget

Saturday, May 30th / 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Choosing Healthy Food for Kids

Saturday, May 30th / 1:00 - 2:00 pm 
Meal Appeal

If you are interested in scheduling a virtual training for your staff, please contact Amber Troutman at atroutman@strength.org or 303-801-0178. 


 

4 MAY 2020

As a result of evolving national guidance and announcements about COVID-19, we have decided to extend our suspension of in-person programming until it is safe for our participants, volunteers and staff to gather (Date TBD). While we greatly miss leading programming in the community, we are excited about our new virtual and digital education formats. Please continue to monitor our News & Updates page (and these newsletters) where we will continue to share important updates.

Leadership Announcement 

It is with mixed sadness and gratitude that we announce Kelleen Zubick's departure as our State Director, effective May 4th. Thankfully, Kelleen is staying with Share Our Strength, having accepted a new role as Director of Health Strategies & Integration with the No Kid Hungry campaign. We are grateful to have worked under her incredible leadership for 5+ years.
As we look ahead to Cooking Matters’ next chapter, we remain steadfast in our goal to ensure a future where all families have the means to acquire healthy food the skills to prepare nutritious meals. If you have any questions or concerns during this transition process, please do not hesitate to reach out. On behalf of the Cooking Matters family both here and across the nation, we wish you the very best, Kelleen!

Welcoming Our New Associate Director

We’re excited to share that Gabriella (Gabby) Warner recently joined our talented team as Associate Director to oversee statewide programming in accordance with the Cooking Matters national strategy.

Gabby comes to us by way of the Colorado Department of Education’s School Nutrition Unit, where she supported a variety of efforts including Colorado’s Blueprint to End Hunger. She brings a wealth of related experience to this new role, previously serving as Program Director of LiveWell Colorado’s School Food Initiative and prior to that, implementing California’s USDA SNAP-Ed grant through the LA County Department of Public Health and LA County Office of Education. Please join us in welcoming Gabby!


 

17 APRIL 2020

With the COVID-19 outbreak restricting in-person programming, we're working hard to bring Cooking Matters to you! Read further to learn more about our website resources, social media initiatives, virtual programming and more.

 

Cooking Matters Food Skills Education and Family Support Resources

We've repurposed specific, relevant food skills education content from our courses and tours into simple and helpful public messages on our website. To date, we have developed six messages with a specific focus on topics that are supportive of family needs at this time: Food Storage, Stretching Ingredients, Bean Basics, Making Recipes Work for your Family, Pantry Staples: Whole Grains and Dried Spices & Herbs, and Getting Kids Involved in the Kitchen. These message are available on the Cooking Matters Colorado website and will be featured on CMCO’s social media channels for partners and participants to access.
FOOD SKILLS EDUCATION MESSAGE
FAMILY SUPPORT RESOURCES

The Cooking Matters national website also offers a collection of food skills education tips and videos that may be helpful for families at this time. Videos topics include: recipe demonstrations, meal planning, and saving money on grocery shopping.
COOKING MATTERS TIPS AND VIDEOS
This is an evolving resource, and above all we want it to meet the needs of our communities, so please send any suggested message topics to Laura Cornwell (lcornwell@strength.org).

 

Social Media Resources: Facebook Live, Shareable Messages, and Support Group

  1. Cooking Matters also is hosting Facebook Live conversations at 2 pm ET every Thursday in April. These sessions will be hosted live on the national Cooking Matters Facebook page. Topics will include cooking and shopping tips, recipes and ingredient substitution ideas, working with kids in the kitchen, and staying active while staying at home. Please feel free to share with your community and invite them to participate. 
  2. Follow Cooking Matters Colorado and Cooking Matters national on Facebook to keep up-to-date on additional resources, and to fine additional tips and links regarding food and nutrition. On the CMCO page, we are also reposting statewide information regarding food access, public health updates, and family support resources.
  3. Cooking Matters has also established a nationwide support group on Facebook: Cooking Matters! Food, Fun, and Family. Please feel free to join the group and share the invitation with your community.

 

Additional Resources for Families

 


 

8 APRIL 2020

In light of the coronavirus outbreak, we have made the difficult decision to cancel our annual fundraising gala, Chefs Up Front, which was scheduled for June7th at the Colorado Convention Center.  

The health and safety of all staff, volunteer and guests is our foremost concern for any event. We also want to take into consideration the people, organizations and businesses, including our chef and restaurant partners, that are, and will be, impacted by the outbreak in the weeks and months ahead.

Chefs Up Front is an important source of funding for our programs, and our ability to support families and children most vulnerable to crises like the one we currently facing. Nevertheless, Share Our Strength (the parent organization for Cooking Matters Colorado) is committed to continuing to support those who rely on our programs and are working to address immediate needs presented by the outbreak. Through Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign, we are quickly deploying grants for food banks and partners in our community and have launched a texting hotline to let parents know about emergency food distribution sites in their neighborhoods. We are advocating for families in need on the national level, while also exploring technology education models for Cooking Matters so that we can continue to reach parents and caregivers with practical guidance and advice for feeding their family during the outbreak.

During this time, we would greatly appreciate your support spreading the word about the free meal locations texting hotline. If your circumstances allow, we encourage you to check takeout and delivery options or purchase a gift card for future use to support our local restaurants, including many Chefs Up Front restaurant partners, during this difficult time. View this map of independent restaurants that have generously supported both of Share Our Strength’s - Cooking Matters and No Kid Hungry - campaigns.

We deeply appreciate your incredible support and we look forward to seeing you at our 2021 gala.


 

2 APRIL 2020

Dear Friends and Partners of Cooking Matters Colorado:

As a result of evolving national guidance and announcements about the coronavirus, Share Our Strength has extended our suspension of all in-person Cooking Matters programming until at least May 2020. Our primary aim remains for all staff, volunteers, community partners, and families we serve to stay safe and healthy. While we greatly miss being in the community leading programming, we are excited about the opportunity for innovation that this situation has pushed us toward. Cooking Matters Colorado is working hard to make content around stretching and utilizing food resources available virtually and digitally. We will update you as soon as these projects come to fruition over the next few weeks. 

Food Resource Management: Please encourage the families in your network to follow @cookingmatters.national on Facebook for ideas to stretch food resources, incorporate foods that can contribute to keeping immune systems healthy, and tips for engaging kids in food based activities with extended time at home. 

No Kid Hungry Text Line Helps Families Find Meals During Coronavirus School Closures: No Kid Hungry has launched a texting hotline to provide information about emergency food distribution sites in communities where schools have been closed due to COVID19. Families can text the word “FOOD” (or “COMIDA”) to 877877 to find their nearest sites. Make sure families know these meals are available and where they can find them by helping spread the word by sharing on social media and with your friends, family and colleagues. [Learn More]

Apply for the Colorado COVID-19 Emergency Hunger Relief Fund: The Colorado Blueprint to End Hunger has partnered with local funders to create a fund in response to the urgent food access and nutritional needs that have emerged as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. 

The COVID-19 Emergency Hunger Relief Fund is open for applications! The second round of applications will close on Wednesday, April 8th at noon and applicants will hear back with a decision within 5 to 7 business days. You can use this funding for operating funds, including food, staff, packaging, safety supplies, food transportation, client communications, etc. Grants (up to $25,000) are available with some geographic prioritization based on community needs. For more information in both English and Spanish, including the application, visit the Colorado Blueprint to End Hunger website.

Support Local Restaurants: If your circumstances allow, we encourage you to check takeout and delivery options or purchase a gift card for future use to support our local restaurants during this difficult time. Check out this map of restaurants that have generously supported both of Share Our Strength’s - Cooking Matters and No Kid Hungry - campaigns.

 

We will continue to communicate guidance as things evolve. Thank you for your patience and flexibility as we continue to monitor the situation and remain dedicated to helping families in need.  If you have questions or concerns, please contact us:


16 MARCH 2020

Dear Friends and Partners of Cooking Matters Colorado: 
  
As a result of evolving national guidance and announcements about the coronavirus, Share Our Strength has decided to suspend all in-person Cooking Matters programming until at least March 31 for sites in Colorado. Our primary aim is for staff, volunteers, community partners, and families we serve to stay safe and healthy, while we adopt the best-practice recommendations to create social distance as a means to minimize spread of the coronavirus. The Denver office is also currently closed and staff are working from home through March. During this time the office will be sanitized to improve the safety of visitors and staff when we re-open. We will continue to monitor the evolving situation and send updates as needed.
 
We continue to look forward to hosting Chefs Up Front on June 7th at the Four Seasons Ballroom at the Colorado Convention Center. Should the evolving need for social distancing as a means to preserve individual and community health extend into May, we plan to identify a later date in 2020 and to honor all commitments. To learn more about how you can reserve a table at this unique gala showcasing Denver’s finest chefs cooking tableside meals to support Cooking Matters’ work to help families at risk of hunger cook healthy food on a budget, visit https://www.chefsupfrontco.com/.
 
As an organization, we are committed to helping families in-need who are shouldering the impact of this epidemic. Here are four resources that explain our work to ensure kids continue to get the nutrition they need during this uncertain and difficult time: 

  1. A  letter to USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue, offering the agency our recommendations to be included in its guidance on Pandemic School Dismissals and Closures so that children can continue to receive meals while also adhering to CDC guidance.
  2. An issue explainer providing a deep dive into the federal policy solutions that can help support low-income families and children in-need.
  3. blog post outlining what Share Our Strength is doing in response to coronavirus and how you can help.
  4. Visit Feeding Colorado’s website to locate a food bank where you live.

 
We will continue to communicate guidance as things evolve. Thank you for your patience and flexibility as we continue to monitor the situation and remain dedicated to helping families in need.  If you have questions or concerns, please contact us:

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.