How do you feel walking into a supermarket? Inspired? Overwhelmed? For most people, grocery shopping is a daunting task. For parents trying to feed their families on limited budgets, it’s especially difficult. What’s on sale? What foods will my kids actually eat? How do I get both quality and quantity?
Shopping Matters® helps low-income families pondering those same questions learn practical skills that they can use in the grocery store, at the farmers’ market, or a local corner store to buy the healthiest foods for their family. It’s an interactive shopping tour developed by the national anti-hunger nonprofit Share Our Strength and generously supported by Walmart. On each tour, families learn how to identify whole grains, compare unit prices, read food labels and nutrition facts, and buy fruits and vegetables and walk away with the skills, materials and confidence they need to maximize their food resources in a healthy, delicious way.
Here’s how it works: Share Our Strength provides local facilitators the tools they need to run tours in their community (for free!). Tour facilitators connect with a local store or market to host the tour, recruit participants through partnerships with organizations who serve low-income families (like WIC, Head Start, community gardens, etc.), and plan and lead an interactive, 60-minute tour.
Share Our Strength offers two tour materials: Shopping Matters for Adults geared towards low-income families, parents or the primary food shopper and Shopping Matters for WIC Parents for families to better learn how to use and maximize their state’s WIC food package. These materials are available in Spanish and English.
Families report new skills that help them better use their food budgets and facilitators and educators across the country are excited to offer and conduct Shopping Matters tours in their community:
“I really learned a lot and enjoyed this. If not for this program, I wouldn’t know what is healthy or not! Thank you. Please do more of these.”
Shopping Matters for Adults Tour Participant
“Great tour! Bringing the WIC clients to the grocery store is an excellent learning tool - many were unaware that they could buy certain food products with their coupons. It’s also a great opportunity for the store managers to become more familiar with WIC approved items and creates discussion about how to make sure the client are getting the most value.”
DuPage County Health Department
To register to lead a tour in your community or to share this information with organizations that are the perfect fit for this tool, please visit www.shoppingmatters.org. What does a tour look like? Here’s a sneak peak!
Check us out on Twitter and Facebook too! We’ll be sharing stories, photos, videos, and shopping tips to raise awareness in your community especially during Food Day. We’d love to hear from you too. Share your stories on our wall about shopping for healthy foods on a budget, and let us know your tips.
Photo Credit: NoKidHungry.org