Self-Sustenance Through Cooking Matters

“Cooking Matters is something that is necessary in almost everybody’s life.”

Colorado Springs, CO – A native to Colorado, Marquita has spent many years of her life depending on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and food pantries to have food on the table each day. After 11 years of not receiving child support, she suddenly received her first payment, which put her family just over the income threshold and she was no longer eligible to receive SNAP benefits. A common outcome known as the ‘cliff effect,’ Marquita’s net income was worth less without SNAP.

Marquita immediately worried about how she would feed her family of four during the week, plus her four stepchildren on the weekends.

A couple months later, Marquita saw a Cooking Matters course advertised at her son’s preschool and quickly signed up. She was tired of making the same recipes over and over and was looking for ways to stretch the family’s food budget.

Since completing her Cooking Matters course, Marquita is able to feed her family without food assistance or visiting a pantry. “With my new budgeting skills and by shopping sales, I feel like Cooking Matters made my dollar stretch more. Finding ways to make it stretch like adding beans to the meat for protein and to stretch our budget, that helped me out a lot.”

Marquita now looks for seasonal produce, and buys frozen veggies when something is out of season. She notices the financial savings with even this one shopping strategy.

Beyond saving money, Marquita enjoys the nutritional benefits from what she learned in her Cooking Matters course. Her favorite lesson was about hiding veggies so that her pickiest eater is still getting the nutrients he needs. “I make pasta now and I grate vegetables into it and nobody knows. Before, they would only want a meat sauce and noodles, that was it.”

Growing up, Marquita’s mother had a knack for making dining miracles out of ingredients they received from a food pantry. Marquita never worried about food or cooking until she was on her own. “When my [oldest] daughter was a baby I would put Kool-Aid in her sippy cup. I did not understand nutrition. I’ve learned more over the years and with my son I feel like I’ve done a pretty good job, but now after Cooking Matters I know even more. I make sure he gets everything he needs into his diet.”

The family enjoys the new variety of Cooking Matters recipes and prepare them regularly, even months after Marquita took the course. Marquita is looking forward to teaching her daughter the knife skills and nutrition information she learned through Cooking Matters so she too can one day be independent and cook healthy, delicious meals.

“Cooking Matters is something that is necessary in almost everybody’s life.”

A full-time caretaker, Marquita is also taking classes and applying for nursing school. She is optimistic about her family’s future, free from relying on food assistance and full of healthy choices.

 

 Read more stories.

Self-Sustenance Through Cooking Matters

“Cooking Matters is something that is necessary in almost everybody’s life.”

Colorado Springs, CO – A native to Colorado, Marquita has spent many years of her life depending on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and food pantries to have food on the table each day. After 11 years of not receiving child support, she suddenly received her first payment, which put her family just over the income threshold and she was no longer eligible to receive SNAP benefits. A common outcome known as the ‘cliff effect,’ Marquita’s net income was worth less without SNAP.

Marquita immediately worried about how she would feed her family of four during the week, plus her four stepchildren on the weekends.

A couple months later, Marquita saw a Cooking Matters course advertised at her son’s preschool and quickly signed up. She was tired of making the same recipes over and over and was looking for ways to stretch the family’s food budget.

Since completing her Cooking Matters course, Marquita is able to feed her family without food assistance or visiting a pantry. “With my new budgeting skills and by shopping sales, I feel like Cooking Matters made my dollar stretch more. Finding ways to make it stretch like adding beans to the meat for protein and to stretch our budget, that helped me out a lot.”

Marquita now looks for seasonal produce, and buys frozen veggies when something is out of season. She notices the financial savings with even this one shopping strategy.

Beyond saving money, Marquita enjoys the nutritional benefits from what she learned in her Cooking Matters course. Her favorite lesson was about hiding veggies so that her pickiest eater is still getting the nutrients he needs. “I make pasta now and I grate vegetables into it and nobody knows. Before, they would only want a meat sauce and noodles, that was it.”

Growing up, Marquita’s mother had a knack for making dining miracles out of ingredients they received from a food pantry. Marquita never worried about food or cooking until she was on her own. “When my [oldest] daughter was a baby I would put Kool-Aid in her sippy cup. I did not understand nutrition. I’ve learned more over the years and with my son I feel like I’ve done a pretty good job, but now after Cooking Matters I know even more. I make sure he gets everything he needs into his diet.”

The family enjoys the new variety of Cooking Matters recipes and prepare them regularly, even months after Marquita took the course. Marquita is looking forward to teaching her daughter the knife skills and nutrition information she learned through Cooking Matters so she too can one day be independent and cook healthy, delicious meals.

“Cooking Matters is something that is necessary in almost everybody’s life.”

A full-time caretaker, Marquita is also taking classes and applying for nursing school. She is optimistic about her family’s future, free from relying on food assistance and full of healthy choices.

 

 Read more stories.

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