Get Cooking: Empowering Low-Income Families to Cook Healthy Meals on a Budget

Stacie Archer’s non-profit organization, Get Cooking, is revolutionizing the way low-income families approach healthy eating by providing affordable recipes and cooking classes.

Stacie Archer understands the challenges of preparing nutritious meals on a tight budget. As a single mother of three, she experienced firsthand the stress and pressure of trying to feed her family healthy food without breaking the bank. Determined to help other families facing similar struggles, Archer founded the non-profit organization, Get Cooking. Through educational initiatives and virtual cooking classes, she empowers low-income families to shop for affordable, healthy ingredients and create delicious meals for $20 or less.

The Importance of Healthy Family Meals:

Archer firmly believes that healthy, home-cooked dinners are essential for the well-being and development of children. Research from the National Institutes of Health supports this belief, showing that regular family meals reduce the likelihood of children being overweight by 12%. Additionally, these meals promote healthier eating habits and decrease the risk of eating disorders in children by 20% and 35%, respectively.

A Food Blog to Combat Misconceptions

In 2016, Archer launched a food blog called Seven Plates, aimed at dispelling the misconception that healthy cooking is expensive and unappetizing. Each recipe on the blog was designed to serve a family of four and cost no more than $20. By showcasing affordable and delicious meals, Archer sought to change the perception that frozen, processed foods were the only option for low-income families.

Teaming Up with Award-Winning Chefs:

As Archer’s blog gained traction, she realized the potential for an even greater impact. Collaborating with award-winning chefs, she expanded her efforts to include virtual interactive cooking classes. These classes are held twice a month for families living in subsidized housing in Miami and Orlando, Florida. One class is specifically dedicated to the residents of Verde Gardens, a townhome community in Miami for formerly homeless individuals. The other class serves families in Orlando’s poorest neighborhoods, such as Parramore.

Delivering Meal Kits for Hands-On Learning

To ensure that families have all the necessary ingredients, meal kits are supplied and distributed by Second Harvest Food Pantry. These kits are delivered to participants’ front doors a few hours before the cooking class begins. By providing all the supplies needed to make the recipe, Archer eliminates any excuses for not participating. Families can focus on the cooking process, knowing they have everything they need.

Interactive Cooking Classes:

At exactly 5 p.m., Archer begins the virtual cooking class, welcoming approximately 40 families each time. Parents and children eagerly watch as she guides them through the recipe step by step. Archer encourages questions and takes the time to re-explain any confusing steps. The class starts at 5 p.m. to ensure that children are home from school and can actively participate in the meal preparation. Archer finds it gratifying to witness families cooking together and children learning essential kitchen skills.

Building Confidence and Skills:

Unlike traditional cooking demonstrations, Archer’s classes take place in the participants’ own kitchens. This hands-on approach allows families to gain confidence in using their own cooking equipment. Many participants have never used an oven or frying pan before, making this experience transformative. Archer not only teaches the importance of nutritious foods but also how to shop for them on a budget. By physically interacting with the ingredients, families develop trust in their ability to create affordable meals.


Stacie Archer’s Get Cooking organization is revolutionizing the way low-income families approach healthy eating. Through her food blog, interactive cooking classes, and meal kits, Archer empowers families to cook nutritious meals on a budget. By providing affordable recipes, teaching essential cooking skills, and instilling confidence, Archer equips families with the tools they need to make healthy choices for themselves and their children. The impact of Get Cooking extends beyond the virtual classes, as families are encouraged to apply their newfound knowledge and skills to future grocery shopping trips. With Get Cooking, Archer has not only given families a fish but also taught them how to fish for themselves.






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