Wednesday, February 13, 2013


Food for Families/Cooking Matters six-week course designed For Spanish-speaking patients of MGH Chelsea begins March 19

Contact: Susan Leahy, Communications Manager

(617) 643-5288



Food for Families/Cooking Matters six-week course designed

For Spanish-speaking patients of MGH Chelsea begins March 19


CHELSEA—February 13, 2012— Hunger and obesity are prevalent in immigrant and refugee families, as well as native-born families, in the US today. Share Our Strength’s Cooking Matters™ conducts hands-on, cooking-based nutrition education programs that aim to reduce food insecurity and obesity by empowering families at risk of hunger with the skills, knowledge and confidence to make healthy and affordable meals.

To meet the needs of the Spanish-speaking population served by the MGH Chelsea HealthCare Center, the next series of classes will be held in Spanish. The six-week course takes place on Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., from March 19 through April 30, at the Boys & Girls Club in Chelsea, thanks to a partnership between MGH Chelsea and the Boys & Girls Club. MGH Chelsea has partnered with Cooking Matters since 2010 to regularly offer courses to families most in need of information about buying and preparing healthy food on a limited budget. MGH Chelsea patients should contact Food for Families Community Health Worker Benjamin Brennan at 617-887-3575.

“A Cooking Matters staff coordinator and volunteer culinary and nutrition professionals teach course participants how to select nutritious and low-cost ingredients and prepare them in ways that provide the best nourishment possible to their families,” said Melissa Dimond, Manager of Community Initiatives / Healthy Living for Community Health Improvement at MGH Chelsea, part of the MGH Center for Community Health Improvement.

Each course consists of six weekly lessons that combine collaborative food preparation—using nutritious, readily available, low-cost, culturally appropriate ingredients—with essential nutrition information shared through discussion, activities, and practice with tools like MyPlate and the Nutrition Facts Panel. At the end of each lesson, participants take home a bag of ingredients so they can practice preparing the recipes taught that day.

About the Food for Families Program

The Food for Families Program at the MGH Chelsea HealthCare Center is a patient care intervention designed to reduce the prevalence of food insecurity and hunger among primary care patients, develop strategic partnerships with organizations and local agencies working to reduce hunger, and provide patients with concrete resources and strategies to improve their access to healthy food

About the Center for Community Health Improvement (CCHI)

CCHI carries out its work in Chelsea, Revere, and Charlestown, where MGH has maintained healthcare centers for more than 40 years, as well as in Boston among youth, homeless persons and seniors. CCHI has partnered with the communities it serves to assess needs and create more than 35 programs that:

  • Reduce and prevent substance abuse 
  • Intervene in the cycle of violence
  • Tackle the obesity epidemic by increasing access to healthy food and physical activity
  • Increase access to care for vulnerable populations such as immigrants and refugees, seniors, and homeless people
  • Prevent cancers through early detection and screening
  • Generate interest in science and health careers among youth




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