SOURCE: Share Our Strength

Share Our Strength

February 03, 2012 11:48 ET

Share Our Strength Reveals Low-Income Families Cooking More, but Are They Healthy Meals?

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Feb 3, 2012) - Low-income American families are cooking dinner at home most nights but are struggling to make healthy meals, according to a new study released today from Share Our Strength's Cooking Matters® with support from the ConAgra Foods® Foundation. The research suggests that although 85 percent of the families surveyed say that healthy eating is important, only about half are managing to eat healthy meals at home most days.

With one in three Americans living in or near poverty, and record participation in the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly food stamps), many low-income Americans feel challenged to eat healthy meals at home. It's Dinnertime: A Report on Low-Income Families' Efforts to Plan, Shop for, and Cook Healthy Meals, launched in collaboration with chef, cookbook author and television host Sara Moulton, highlights low-income families' desires and behaviors around healthy foods.

The study found that cost is the most commonly cited barrier to making healthy meals; a majority of families are satisfied with the quality and variety of available healthy grocery items. Low-income families that regularly plan meals and budget for food are able to make healthy meals more often.

"A family dinner doesn't have to break the bank, and -- most importantly -- it can still be delicious," said Sara Moulton, who pointed to healthier, more affordable versions of family favorites like tacos and lasagna. Moulton, an advocate to end child hunger in America, is the host of Sara's Weeknight Meals on public television.

Share Our Strength offers cooking, shopping and nutrition education to families at risk of hunger across the country through Cooking Matters. The average graduate from Share Our Strength's six-week Cooking Matters for Adults course plans meals ahead of time 55 percent more often, shops with a grocery list 50 percent more often and runs out of food 20 percent less often.

Working under the premise that it takes more than food to fight hunger, the ConAgra Foods Foundation, a national sponsor of Cooking Matters along with Walmart, funded It's Dinnertime as part of its ongoing strategy to find sustainable solutions to help surround kids with the nourishment they need to flourish. The research was designed and conducted by APCO Insight, the opinion research division of APCO Worldwide. The complete study is available at CookingMatters.org/ItsDinnertime.

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