Martin Luther King Day

17 Jan

In honor of Martin Luther King Day, we would like to thank all of the amazing work you do in the community to end hunger here in Omaha.  Service to one another and the community is one of the most important virtues of life, and no matter how you choose to serve know you are making a significant difference. Every little bit helps. You don’t have to change the world, but just do something to improve the world around you.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PbUtL_0vAJk&feature=player_detailpage

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Cooking Matters for Kids- Girls Inc.

6 Jan

We just wrapped up a kids cooking series with a group of young ladies at Girls Inc., and it was a great success! Stephanique, age 10, shared a quote with us about her experience with Cooking Matters and the most important message she took away with her from the class. “My favorite part of this cooking class is how to look at the labels on foods and drinks.” 

To view more photos from the class or to learn more about the wonderful work of the organizations, please visit the Girls Inc. facebook profile http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Girls-Inc-of-Omaha/155219587405

New Year, New Volunteers!

4 Jan

With the New Year we have also had the pleasure of adding a few new volunteers to our program! Please welcome the following individuals to the Cooking Matters Volunteer team!

Mindy Major- Chef Instructor  

Debra Johnson- Chef Instructor

Mary Green- Class Assistant

Edward Adams- Class Assistant

Steve Hasawaga- Class Assistant/Chef Instructor

We are very excited to have them join the program, and please wish them luck as these each set out on their first classes next week!

Also, long time Cooking Matters volunteer Katie Stern will be joining us as a Class Coordinator on a part-time basis, so you will definitely be getting to know her better as she attends the classes. Please wish her the best of luck as well!

Happy New Year everyone- we wish you a very healthy and happy year!

Cooking Matters article in the Omaha World Herald

6 Dec

Spread the word! Cooking Matters was featured in the Omaha World Herlad and recognized for what we do in the metro area to end hunger. Chef Brian Johnson shared his experiences volunteering with the program. Way to go Brian!

http://www.omaha.com/article/20101201/NEWS02/712019924

Hunger in a Season of Plenty

22 Nov

“It’s dinner time in America. But for 1 in 4 children, you’d never know it.”

The ad with the simple image of an empty plate is meant to catch your eye — especially if you come across it in the November issue of a favorite magazine, tucked among the tips for a traditional Thanksgiving feast. It’s part of a campaign by Share Our Strength, a national non-profit organization that fights childhood hunger. As they say below the picture: “Dinner time is when families gather to share their day and create memories. But for nearly 17 million children, dinner time can be the cruelest part of the day. Right here in the United States, almost 1 in 4 children don’t know when they will have their next meal.”

Thanksgiving is a season to celebrate plenty, and a day when many families sit down to tables overflowing with favorite foods to give thanks for all they have been blessed with. For many people, Thanksgiving dinner is the largest meal of the year — and by the time they’ve finished that last piece of pie, their stomachs are so full they’ll be physically uncomfortable. But the canned food drives and other pleas for donations this month are a quiet reminder that for too many families, Thanksgiving will be like any other meal: not a time of plenty but a time of want.

Share Our Strength notes that 50.1 million Americans aren’t able to regularly put enough nutritious food on the table, and that food insecurity, which includes “running out of food without money to buy more, cutting portion sizes or skipping meals, and not feeding children in the family because there isn’t money for food,” exists in almost 15 percent of all U.S. households. Almost 70 percent of food insecure families live above the poverty line. These numbers aren’t just statistics. They reflect the reality many of us are already seeing in our own homes, neighborhoods or communities right now, as families who were blessed enough to be able to contribute to those canned food drives during past Thanksgivings are today joining the lines of those in need.

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A Participant's Story, Cooking Matters for Adults

2 Nov

Maria is a 30 year old Hispanic woman with two children under the age of five. She learned about the Cooking Matters for Adults classes through the Juan Diego Center in Omaha.  “The classes are excellent,” she said. “They are helping me a lot.”  Maria stated that the classes are easy to understand and interesting because the lessons are taught in different ways. She also likes taking the nutrition materials from class to review at home, and she now feels more capable to read the food labels. 

Before the classes, Maria never planned meals ahead of time. After taking the Cooking Matters course she plans head all the time, thinks more about healthy food selections, and reads food labels while grocery shopping. Because she feels more confident in understanding the food label, it has helped her make better selections and spend more time shopping at the perimeter of the store.  “I also save more money,” Maria said. “And I choose healthier food and secure to eat.”

Operation Frontline gets a New Name!

18 Oct

The program formally known as Operation Frontline is now called “Cooking Matters!”   Operation Frontline was originally named because chefs were volunteering their time on the “frontline” to end hunger.  We have grown so much over the years, and we wanted to give the program a name that truly represented its mission, which is cooking! Why does cooking matter” to you? It could matter for many reasons. Whether it’s because it allows you to feed your family healthy, nutritious meals, or because it makes you happy- the bottom line is that it matters! Please stay-tuned for more information and updates about the name change, and also about future volunteer activities.  We hope you like the new name!