“Newsflash: You Don't Have to be Rich to Eat Nutritious Foods!”
Heidi got a whole new outlook on healthy eating after taking a Cooking Matters course. She says, “Newsflash: you don't have to be rich to eat nutritious foods!”
When Heidi joined the Cooking Matters course, she was living in a shelter with her young son. “I was broken and depressed. I was fearful of my future. When the shelter brought in a Cooking Matters course, it was an unexpected turning point for Heidi. “Every week, we learned about food and nutrition, shopping and budgeting, and the challenges faced by low-income mothers to properly feed their families,” she said. All Cooking Matters courses involve hands-on cooking to boost participants’ confidence in the kitchen. In courses specific to parents, participants also learn how to help kids make healthier choices.
Two years later and no longer living in the shelter, Heidi is still applying the knowledge and skills she learned in the Cooking Matters course. Not only does she make her family healthy dinners, but she even uses what she learned to help strengthen her relationships with her children. “My family and I have a wonderful home filled with love and laughter, and of course, home cooking. Not only have I built a better life for myself, my son, and his father, but I was able to provide a home for my two teenage stepchildren. I asked myself, how could I break the ice and make them comfortable in my home? How could I show them a mother's love? That’s where the skills I learned from Cooking Matters came in.”
Once Heidi started cooking family dinners and taking her kids to the grocery store, amazing things started to happen. “My stepson would sit in the kitchen with me, and we would talk. I was giving him an outlet to talk, just like I had when I attended Cooking Matters class. Then my stepdaughter, who went blind at the age of 6, started asking about cooking. We started talking about technique and how-to's. We brainstormed ways that she could cook despite her blindness. And lastly, there's my littlest boy. We spend A LOT of time in the produce aisle, talking about colors and shapes and choosing what to buy that week. He loves to help me so much that we started a weekly ‘cooking show’ and I post videos of them on Facebook. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart. Thank you for this program, for the wonderful instructors, the fun cookbook, the exciting classes. Thank you for making a difference in my life.”