Cooking Matters Bootcamp sponsored by Share Our Strength and ConAgra Foods

Texas has the second highest rate of child hunger in the entire United States with a child poverty rate of almost 25%, that’s 1 out of 4 children.  For many of us hunger is never an issue: we feel hungry, we simply grab a bite to eat from our kitchen or from a restaurant.  (Extreme) Hunger is a foreign feeling for many of us, but what if hunger was something you struggled with every day?  What if you didn’t know where or when your next meal would be? 

The reality of the situation is we’re one of the richest countries in the world yet a quarter of the children in the United States are struggling to find food.  There’s something wrong with this picture.  The key to breaking the cycle of poverty is through education and community support.  As Nelson Mendela once said – Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” 

Last week, Con Agra Foods and Share Our Strength invited me to participate in a “Cooking Matters Bootcamp” with the North Texas Food Bank.  Cooking Matters is a groundbreaking nutrition education programs that teaches low-income families how to plan, prepare, and purchase nutritious and delicious meals at home, with limited resources.1 

Through the help of thousands of volunteers consisting of chefs, nutritionists and finance professionals – together they are making a pledge to end hunger, one family at a time.  Join me on my journey through my Cooking Matters adventure throughout the next few months where I’ll be participating in hands-on courses and other educational outreach activities, such as guided supermarket tours, that show adults, teens and kids how to purchase and prepare nutritious foods in a healthful, safe and tasty ways.2

Share Our Strength is a national organization that works hard to make sure no kid in America grows up hungry.  The Cooking Matters Program was formed to provide low income families with resources and information through seven specialized curricula (Cooking Matters for Adults, Kids, Families, Teens, Young Parents and Child Care Professionals) that covers nutrition and healthy eating, food preparation, budgeting and shopping.  These courses are held at a variety of community-based agencies – including Head Start centers, housing centers and after-school programs – with neighborhood locations that make it easy for families to attend.3  If you are interested in participating in a Cooking Matters program find out more information here.  For my readers in Dallas you can directly contact the North Texas Food Bank where they can provide you with helpful information and ways you can help end child hunger in your city.’

Together we can make a change, join us on our mission to end Child Hunger.


  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Cooking Matters™, Joy Zhang. Joy Zhang said: Join me on my fight to end Child Hunger Thank you @conagrafoods @cookingmatters @ntfb for everything #shareourstrength [...]


  2. Stephanie Tramontozz says: 25 Jan ’11 • 18:59:51

    Thank you for posting this1 Do you know if therea re ways we can get involved in our local communities?


  3. Cooking with Michele says: 25 Jan ’11 • 20:12:55

    This is my favorite non-profit organization!!!! I volunteer as a chef educator for Cooking Matters here in Colorado (entered the Share Our Strength hall of fame in the fall after completing my 15th class – now on my 18th!). I am also on their board of advisors.

    I can’t tell you how good I feel about this organization and their program – it’s a great cause with great measurable results, and something that every chef, cook, and food blogger can get behind. Thanks for spotlighting it!


    • Joy says: 21 Feb ’11 • 15:32:51

      Michele you are a hero!! Congrats on being in the Share Our Sterngth hall of fame, I hope to be there with you :)

      Thank you for sharing your experience with me, I can hardly wait to start!

  4. Brian says: 26 Jan ’11 • 03:05:12

    It’s wonderful that you took the time to feature this wonderful organization. Thank you for sharing!


    • Joy says: 21 Feb ’11 • 15:33:03

      Thanks Brian!

  5. Marni says: 26 Jan ’11 • 21:43:12

    My son, Brian, is doing a year long online bake sale for Share Our Strength here in Dallas!! Check out his website!!


    • Joy says: 21 Feb ’11 • 15:33:25

      It’s kids like Brian that make this world a better place :) He is quite the inspiration!

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