Cooking Matters at the Store

Share Our Strength

Overview

Cooking Matters at the Store is a free program of the No Kid Hungry campaign that empowers families to stretch their food budgets so their children get healthy meals at home. Cooking Matters at the Store is a guided grocery store tour that teaches low-income adults how to get the most nutrition for their food dollars.

Target Behavior: Healthy Eating, Food Insecurity/Food Assistance

Intervention Type: Direct Education

Intervention Reach and Adoption

From the guided grocery store tours, low-income adults learn how to shop smart, cook delicious and affordable meals for their families, and use nutrition information to make healthier choices. Cooking Matters at the Store is a widespread program and is implemented in community settings throughout the United States.

Setting: Community

Target Audience: Pregnant/Breastfeeding Women, Parents/Mothers/Fathers, Adults, Older Adults

Race/Ethnicity: All

Intervention Components

Cooking Matters at the Store consists of a 1.5-hour store tour. Participants are empowered with four key food skills:

  1. Reading food labels
  2. Comparing unit prices
  3. Finding whole grain foods
  4. Identifying three ways to purchase produce

Intervention Materials

A Cooking Matters tour guide shows participants around the store. Participants take home a booklet with recipes and shopping tips, a reusable grocery bag, and $10 worth of healthy groceries.

Evidence Summary

In 2013, Altarum Institute evaluated Cooking Matters at the Store’s impact. Highlights from the report include:

  • Following a grocery store tour, most families have high confidence in their ability to make their food purchases go farther (74%) and to get the most produce for their money (72%).
  • 89% of families report saving money on groceries five weeks after a tour.
  • Food security increased from 53% to 64% after taking a tour.
  • The percentage of families comparing food labels for ingredients when shopping more than doubled from 40% pre-tour to 83% post-tour.
  • After a tour:
    • 76% of families buy more fruits and vegetables
    • 62% of families buy more low-sodium foods
    • 55% of families buy more low-sugar foods
    • 62% of families buy more lean proteins
    • 54% of families buy more low-fat dairy
    • 85% of families buy less unhealthy food

For more information, refer to the full report: https://cookingmatters.org/sites/default/files/CMS_Evaluation_Brochure_Final_Print_ready.pdf

Classification: Practice-tested

Evaluation Indicators

Based on the SNAP-Ed Evaluation Framework, the following outcome indicators can be used to evaluate intervention progress and success.

Readiness and Capacity – Short Term (ST) Changes – Medium Term (MT) Effectiveness and Maintenance – Long Term (LT) Population Results (R)
Individual ST1, ST2 MT1, MT2 LT1, LT2
Environmental Settings
Sectors of Influence

Evaluation Materials

There are currently no evaluation materials publicly available.

Additional Information

Website: The Cooking Matters at the Store website (http://cookingmatters.org/at-the-store) includes buying tips, recipes, and videos.

Contact Person(s):
National Office
1030 15th Street, NW, Suite 1100 W, Washington, DC 20005
Phone: (202) 478-6540
Email: cookingmatters@strength.org