Buell Foundation Awards $75,000 to Cooking Matters Colorado Program to Expand Engagement with Childcare Professionals in Colorado around Healthy Food
DENVER, CO – (June 2018) Buell Foundation Trustees approved a grant in the amount of $75,000 for Share Our Strength’s Cooking Matters Colorado to expand engagement with childcare professionals around healthy food. Founded in 1993, Cooking Matters Colorado (CMCO) is ending childhood hunger by providing food skills education to parents, family members, and caregivers who affect the eating habits of low-income children inside the home and out. CMCO has helped meet the basic need of hunger while strengthening the physical and financial health over 110,000 Colorado families through food skills and nutrition education.
Cooking Matters for Childcare Professionals increases cooking and nutrition knowledge skills among care providers to promote healthy mealtime attitudes and behaviors from an early age. The program offers affordable, hands-on healthy meal and snack preparation to meet the nutritional needs of children. The shared program goals of this renewed investment are threefold:
1) Deliver food skills professional development to several hundred Colorado care providers serving low-income children ages 0-5, including training, onboarding and support of early childhood “Train-the-Trainer” partners,
2) Increase reach within the Family, Friend, and Neighbor (FFN) Care Network by providing professional development and other Cooking Matters programming opportunities to early childhood professionals and the low-income families they serve, and
3) Increase awareness of food skills and nutrition education (including child feeding practices) among Spanish-speaking early childhood caregivers through innovative delivery of nutrition messaging targeting thousands of Facebook users.
Through nutrition education and food budgeting courses, CMCO plays an essential role in helping low-income families improve self-sufficiency and ultimately reduce the number of young children at-risk of hunger. Research shows that improved nutrition and health outcomes correlate with increased school attendance, graduation rates, and economic opportunities. Providing consistent nutrition and food skills education to parents and childcare providers also leads kids to develop healthy, lifelong eating habits. Together, Cooking Matters Colorado and Buell Foundation will transform young lives through greater access to healthy food and food security.