At Local Matters, we believe that food education, access and advocacy are fundamental components of healthy communities. We support the health and wellness of everyone from pre-schoolers to seniors by:

Helping families shop for, plan and cook healthy meals on a budget. Since launching in 2012, Cooking Matters has reached over 5,000 low-income adults who have gained the knowledge, skills and confidence to eat well and feed their families.

Cooking Matters taught me about how to plan and budget for meals, cook healthier, and substitute healthier options. The course has truly been a blessing to me and my family!
— Cooking Matters Participant

Developing confidence and healthy behaviors early in life. Food Matters is a weekly, hands-on program that helps children develop positive attitudes, self-confidence, and a willingness to try new foods. We give children the opportunity to learn, taste and talk about foods to develop healthy behaviors.

Many of our parents report that the course had a positive impact at home. Children are making healthier choices and are more open to tasting new foods!
— Food Matters partner, Bridgeway Academy staff

Increasing access to healthy foods in our communities. Growing Matters uses gardens as an outdoor classroom to inspire participants to engage with the food they grow and its impact on their health. Community learning gardens help increase food security and can be catalysts for long-term neighborhood transformation. We provide participants with leadership and gardening skills and the support to improve the health of their neighborhood.


Building a culture of health in the workplace. Wellness Matters is our fun, turn-key, healthful food education program focused on wellness and engagement in the workplace. At Local Matters, we recognize that healthier employees are happier and more productive.  

Wellness Matters has changed my life. I was struggling with my weight and my cholesterol levels. After several months of being in the program, I cut my cholesterol in HALF along and lost nearly 30 pounds.
— Eric Williamson, Wellness Matters participant

Bridging the gap between nutrition and health care. In 2016, Local Matters launched a culinary medicine program to train doctors, medical students, and other healthcare providers on how to help patients manage and prevent disease through healthy food. In partnership with Nationwide Children’s Hospital, OSU College of Medicine and Mt. Carmel Health System, we are shifting healthcare practitioners’ ability to incorporate food into their practice.


Advocating for a sustainable food system in Central Ohio. The City of Columbus-Franklin County Local Food Action Plan, adopted in 2016, outlines a vision and focused goals for a “fair and sustainable food system that benefits our economy, our environment and all people.” Local Matters was the lead non-profit in the plan’s development, in partnership with the City of Columbus and Franklin County. We continue to build public support to move toward our vision of a sustainable food system. Click here to learn more.

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