Western Dairy Association and Cooking Matters Colorado helped celebrate the annual Chefs Up Front event on May 6 to raise money towards ending childhood hunger and providing nutrition education for families in need. Over 300 guests gathered at the Colorado Convention Center to support the cause while enjoying craft cocktails, a tableside dinner, customized wine pairings and dessert by the Denver-area’s top bartenders and chefs.
All proceeds benefited Cooking Matters Colorado, the local nutrition and hunger alleviation program of Share Our Strength. Their goal is to end childhood hunger by teaching families how to make healthy choices within their budget. For every $15,000 raised, Cooking Matters Colorado provided 150,000 meals to children and hands-on nutrition education training for their caregivers.
Participants go through a 6-week course based on USDA MyPlate guidelines, with one lesson focusing specifically on dairy. They also attend grocery store tours to learn how to read nutrition labels and make grocery lists. Cooking Matters Colorado provides participants with low-cost recipes, including yogurt parfaits and macaroni and cheese.
“We’re trying to empower families to make healthy food choices and be confident in their ability to do so, with dairy being a big part of that,” said Liz Grossi, Development Manager for Cooking Matters Colorado. “We have studies that show that after 3-6 months these changes in behavior are lasting. These are changes families are making for a lifetime.”
In addition to Chefs Up Front, Western Dairy Association partners with Cooking Matters Colorado year-round to increase awareness of dairy nutrition. Staff members even went on a farm tour in 2017 to learn more about the farm to fridge story. This relationship has given Western Dairy Association the opportunity to be involved in events like Chefs Up Front and make a difference in the local community and dairy industry.
“This event was so amazing to see the outpouring of support from organizations around Denver,” said Jaclyn Alkhatib, Business Development Manager at Western Dairy Association. “Our Dairy farmers continue to support these organizations because they know the importance of access to wholesome foods, including dairy.”
To learn more about Cooking Matters, visit CookingMatters.org.