1988- Michael Edwards-Pruitt founded Project Open Hand and began preparing and delivering meals to a small group of friends and neighbors struggling with HIV/AIDS. 

1995 - Working with a team of nutritionists and dietitians, Open Hand establishes its first 28-day menu rotation

1999 - Meal number 3,000,000 is served.

2000 - Open Hand branches out to include other populations in need (non-HIV related critical illnesses, the disabled, and the homebound elderly).

2005 - Open Hand launches Good Measure Meals, a social entrepreneurship which has become a major success -- introducing a primary revenue source to support the organization.

2012 - Open Hand developed first-ever children’s menu, serving over 70,000 healthy breakfasts, lunches, and snacks to an average of 970 at-risk children each day each summer in the metro Atlanta area.

2015 - Open Hand becomes the lead partner for Cooking Matters in the state of Georgia.

no kid hungry

Cooking Matters plays an essential role in Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry Campaign.  The No Kid Hungry Campaign connects children at risk of hunger to the healthy foods they need by increasing access to public food and nutrition programs. 

How do we empower low-income populations?

mission & vision

As part of our mission to alleviate the burden of hunger, Open Hand works to not only distribute food to those in need, but also to provide evidence-based nutrition education to residents of Metro Atlanta Area.

What is cooking matters?

Share Our Strength’s Cooking Matters™ 

This material was funded by USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program- SNAP-Ed.

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.


History of open hand

In the news 

Cooking Matters has received special recognition from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for excellence in nutrition education. The program was also featured by First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let's Move campaign.  For more information, visit CookingMatters.org.

  • Increasing their confidence to make healthy, affordable meals Providing easy to use educational tools

  • Teaching participant to identify whole grains, create grocery lists, read food labels, and compare unit prices

  • Addressing co­occurring issues of obesity, food insecurity and other nutrition­related diseases by providing nutrition education and skill­based instruction

  • Improving their ability to manage food resources

Open Hand Atlanta partners with the national nonprofit Share Our Strength’s Cooking Matters, a program that empowers families at risk of hunger to shop for and cook healthy, affordable, and delicious meals.  

Cooking Matters is a groundbreaking cooking­based nutrition education program that equips low­income individuals with the skills, confidence and knowledge needed to prepare, healthy, tasty meals on a limited budget. 

The free six-week hands-on courses, guided grocery store tours and interactive demos, taught by 
Open Hand staff, dietitians and volunteers focus on 
technique, food safety, nutrition and food budgeting.