A Foundation for a Healthy, Thriving Community
There are approximately 138,000 children in Iowa living in poverty who don’t know where their next meal is coming from. That’s why the need for resources like VNA’s Cooking Matters is on the rise, especially in Council Bluffs.
Cooking Matters teaches families how to make the most of their resources, take advantage of their local grocery stores and shop wisely for healthy, nutritious foods.
“Cooking Matters teaches life skills like shopping, budgeting, time management, as well as management in general such as delegating tasks,” explained David Kinney, Cooking Matters program coordinator.
“It’s a great program. When they brought it up to me, it answered a question as to what my community was asking for,” said Sofia Sandoval, director and coordinator at Centro Latino of Council Bluffs. “They wanted to learn about health, about nutrition and about fitness. This came and answered to that. They were excited; they were learning a lot.”
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.
“It’s really about putting into practice what they learn in class, from incorporating fresh foods, vegetables, whatever’s on sale, to really making their dollars stretch when they go to the grocery store,” Kinney said.
An engaging, interactive class, Cooking Matters encourages participants to comment, ask questions and take the valuable lessons home to try out with their family.
“When they go shopping, they have to make their own list, so they don’t buy things they don’t need, and don’t spend more than they need,” Sandoval said. “I am very happy and I feel blessed to have VNA provide this program for us.”
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