San Luis Valley Local Foods Coalition
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~ PROJECTS - COOKING MATTERS ~

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What's on this page?

Cooking Matters Team
Virtual Cooking Classes
Homeschool Program

Make Covid Mask
Cooking Beans Recipes
Share Our Strength

CM Educator Goals
Program Volunteering
Attendees Class Thoughts

CM Class Photos
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Celebrate National Farmers Market Week! - Free Cooking Matters Tour
Join Us for a Guided Tour! View Flyer Info »»

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Curious what SLV Cooking Matters Team is up to?

Learn more about the SLV Cooking Matters team and their dedication to bringing the Cooking Matters program to the San Luis Valley!

Find out what Zoila & Lois love about Cooking Matters, what challenges they have faced in 2020, and how to get in contact with them.
View CM SLV info »» (provided in English & Spanish)

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Virtual Cooking Matters At Home Classes

Stayed Tuned for our next Cooking Matter Series!
These Free Classes are 45-minute interactive sessions offered in English & Spanish.

Seasonal Series Classes are offered via Zoom.
Visit CM Facebook for available links to Register »»

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Homeschool Program Initiative

Cooking Matters instructor Lois Harvie teaches an Alpine Achievers Homeschool Program at the Rio Grande Farm Park!

This Valley to Valley initiative program is offered in partnership with the Mountain Valley School District for San Luis Valley families providing supplemental homeschooling.
Contact Lois for enrollment info for the upcoming 21/22 program schedule.


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COVID 19 - Make a Homemade Mask

Learn how to make a homemade face mask to protect yourself by simply using a Bandana!

Presented by Zoila Gomez, our Cooking Matters Spanish Nutrition Educator.

How to Cook Dry Beans and Healthy Bean Recipes

Check out this complementary instructional video "How to Make Beans" from our LFC team; Cooking Matters Nutrition Educator Lois Harvie and Local Foods Local Places Program Director Abe Rosenberg.

Share Our StrengthShare Our Strength

Share Our Strength Program

Share Our Strength's Cooking Matters empowers families with the skills to stretch their food budgets so their children get healthy meals at home. Cooking Matters is key to Share Our Strength's No Kid Hungry campaign, which connects kids in need with nutritious food and teaches their families how to cook healthy, affordable meals. Cooking Matters envisions a future in which all children have the nutritious foods they need to grow, learn, and thrive, and all parents and caregivers have the knowledge and skills to prepare tasty, nutritious meals. -


To support our No Kid Hungry campaign, Cooking Matters partners with community organizations and volunteers to offer six-week cooking courses and grocery store tours to participants. Through Cooking Matters programming, participants learn to shop smarter, use nutrition information to make healthier choices, and cook delicious, affordable meals.

Cooking Matters ProgramThe San Luis Valley Local Foods Coalition has been facilitating Cooking Matters courses since 2012. Our instructors and volunteers are passionate about helping families improve their access to affordable, healthy, whole foods. We love educating community members about nutrition for the whole family, practical skills and strategies in the kitchen, and shopping options at local grocery stores and farmers markets. We offer fun, hands-on classes for adults, parents, and families.

También damos clases en español. Para más información acerca de cómo participar o si quiere ser voluntario o organizar alguno de nuestros cursos, puede contactar a Zoila Gomez at 719-937-2319.

For more information, visit CookingMatters.org and Cooking Matters Colorado.

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Cooking Matters Educators Meets New Goals 2017-2018

Over the course of the 2017/2018 MOU year with Share Our Strength, our nutrition educators, Marlayna Martinez and Zoila Gomez, met higher goals than previous years. In all, the pair taught 28 courses with 351 total participants in all 6 counties of the San Luis Valley, with a graduation rate of 88%. Two of these courses were held in Crestone and Blanca for the first time ever. -


Additionally, the educators gave 16 store tours with 353 total participants. Here's what participants had to say:


"The Cooking Matters course introduced new food in my diet and diversified my meals. This made grocery shopping much less stressful and show me healthy cheap options."
-Surya G, Mountain Valley

"I liked all of it. I loved it. I got to learn new things and It always made my day."
-Janessa, 11 yrs old, Blanca

"I loved learning about other grains and veggies. I will use barley, quinoa and
look and use other whole grains."
-Brooke O, Creede

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Get Involved with Cooking Matters in the San Luis Valley

As a Volunteer - Cooking Matters in the SLV is always looking for volunteers to help with our courses. The dedicated volunteers who teach Cooking Matters courses are chefs, students, Registered Dietitians, and nutrition educators as well as community members with an interest in improving the health of their communities. Formal nutrition or culinary education is not required to volunteer with Cooking Matters - anyone with passion or interest in healthy eating, cooking, nutrition, or good food is welcome! -


Volunteering is fun too, 98% of volunteers are willing to teach another course. There are various volunteer roles available:

  • Cooking Matters ProgramCulinary Instructors: Teach participants how to cook and shop for healthy, low-cost foods. They combine their own knowledge and experience with the lesson plans and recipes provided in the Cooking Matters curricula.
  • Nutrition Instructors: Teach participants how to make healthy choices. They use the lesson plans and instructional materials provided in the Cooking Matters curricula, along with their own expertise.
  • Course Assistants: Help before, during and after classes. Duties may include shopping for food, handing out and collecting class materials, helping with set up and clean up, taking photos or collecting stories during class to help record the Cooking Matters course experience.

Cooking Matters ProgramAs a Partner Agency - We partner with community agencies serving limited incomes families - such as WIC, Head Start, schools, health clinics, food pantries, and other agencies - to reach families at places that are familiar and comfortable. Cooking Matters provides the instruction, staff, curricula, groceries, and other in-class materials, while our partner organizations provide the space to hold classes (as needed), recruit and register participants from their agency for the courses, and provide a staff person to be the point of contact each course and, preferably, to be on site during the course as well.

If your agency is interested in partnering with Cooking Matters to offer a course, please contact our program at slvcookingmatters@gmail.com or call our office at 719-937-2319.

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What Participants Are Saying About Cooking Matters Courses

SLV Cooking Matters of Alamosa is continuing to make a noticeable impact for many families. We are proud to support and involve the community in Healthy Food Education. By offering free educational classes to learn about foods, shopping for food, and cooking healthy meals, we are reaping a healthy community! View Comments by Class Attendees. -


"I found myself thinking about class often. It was very fun and the other students and our instructor were awesome!"

"It has given me more ideas for what to cook and made me more aware that we need to do better eating from all food groups. I really enjoyed it! Thanks!"

"The tips and tricks are very useful and helped with my meal planning. The instructor did a great job!"

"It has helped me to adjust my eating habits; I rarely ate veggies but have increased them in my diet."

"It had made me be more conscious of the food choices that I make for my family."

"This course affected my life very much, I look to eating more healthy and getting in shape. Great class, would take it again."


Cooking Matters - Class Course Photos

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"Eating is an Agricultural Act." - Wendell Berry

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