Jennifer Pooler collaborated on a study to determine the impact of the nutrition education program, Cooking Matters for Adults (CM), on food resource management (FRM) skills. FRM skills include the ability to choose healthy foods and shop cost-effectively.
CM educated low-income adults to shop for and prepare healthy meals economically using hands-on meal preparation. The program also facilitated discussion and implemented an interactive grocery store tour. The researchers used a quasi-experimental design with nonequivalent comparison group and a 6-month follow-up for the CM programs in California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, and Oregon. Participants in the study attended classes from April to July 2016. Classes met for 2 hours, once a week for 6 weeks.
Six months after completing the course, CM participants demonstrated improvements in how often they used FRM skills and their confidence in using these skills. Participants also worried less that food would run out before they had money to buy more. Equipping low-income families with FRM skills allowed them to access healthier foods even during times of hardship. This study demonstrates a positive impact of including FRM skills and confidence building in a nutrition education program, and the effects could be seen for six months after participation in the program.