Hundreds of Colorado shoppers learned new skills for buying healthy food on a limited budget today, during a series of educational grocery shopping tours held in four Denver-area Walmart stores. The Cooking Matters® at the Store tours, developed by the anti-hunger nonprofit Share Our Strength, were led by chef educators and nutrition experts, who taught shoppers to compare unit prices, read food labels, identify whole grains and buy fruits and vegetables on a limited budget.
After each tour, participants were awarded a $10 Walmart gift card to test-drive their new shopping skills. See the site, “Share Our Strength: Cooking Matters: No Kid Hungry.”
“The program really empowers people to shop smarter and buy healthier foods for their families,” said Share Our Strength Colorado Director Summer Gathercole, “We are grateful to Walmart for letting us run these tours in their stores,” according to the June 28, 2013 news release, “Colorado Shoppers Learn to Buy Groceries on a Budget: Interactive Cooking Matters at the Store Tours Offered At Denver-area Groceries.” Also see, “Report Finds 8 in 10 Low-Income Families Cook Dinner 5+ Times a Week,” or “Buying Healthy Food on a Budget.”
Assumptions are rampant about the dining habits of low-income Americans, including that they are frequent consumers of fast food and that they do not eat together often as a family nor prioritize healthy eating
Through “It’s Dinnertime: A Report on Low-Income Families’ Efforts to Plan, Shop for, and Cook Healthy Meals,” readers learn that low-income families are cooking dinner at home, mostly from scratch, but are not eating as healthfully as they’d like. Through our No Kid Hungry campaign, Share Our Strength is connecting these families with the food and skills they need to put healthy meals on the table every day.
Cooking Matters at the Store is an interactive grocery store tour that teaches low-income families to shop for healthy, affordable food. Participants learn to identify whole grain products, buy fruits and vegetables on a tight budget, compare unit prices, and read food labels. Cooking Matters at the Store was designed specifically for low-income adults and parents, with one tour tailored to foods in the state WIC program.
Free materials are available in English and Spanish
Cooking Matters is part of the No Kid Hungry® campaign, working to end childhood hunger in America by connecting kids in need with nutritious food and teaching families to cook healthy, affordable meals. “We recently released a study that showed 85 percent of low-income families want to make healthy meals, but only about half are able to do so on a regular basis,” said Greg Silverman, Director of Share Our Strength’s Cooking Matters at the Store, according to the news release, Share Our Strength: Cooking Matters: No Kid Hungry. “The cost of groceries is a big concern for Colorado families, but healthy eating doesn’t have to break the bank.”
Walmart gave a $4 million grant to Share Our Strength in 2012
In early 2012, the Walmart Foundation announced a $4 million grant to Share Our Strength to support the expansion of Cooking Matters at the Store tours across the United States and to reach low-income families with hands-on cooking demonstrations and shopping and nutrition education in six-week Cooking Matters courses. After completing a Cooking Matters at the Store tour, 54 percent of participants say they intend to compare unit prices to get the best deal and 56 percent say they will seek out whole grains on ingredient lists.
“Walmart is proud to sponsor such a unique event that allows our customers to gain a better understanding of how healthy options can be affordable and delicious,” said Holly Flaker, Senior Facilitator, Field Talent Developer, Walmart, according to the news release. “We are constantly seeking ways to help our customers save money and live better.” For a video tour, or to learn more, visit the site, CookingMatters.org.
Empowering low-income families to stretch their food budgets and serve children healthy meals
As part of the No Kid Hungry campaign working to end childhood hunger in America, Share Our Strength’s Cooking Matters empowers low-income families to stretch their food budgets so their children get healthy meals at home. Cooking Matters serves families across the country through hands-on, six-week cooking courses; interactive grocery store tours; and educational tools. Participants learn to shop smarter, use nutrition information to make healthier choices, and cook delicious, affordable meals. Cooking Matters® is nationally sponsored by the ConAgra Foods® Foundation and Walmart. To learn more, visit the Cooking Matters®.org site.
Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are committed to helping people live better through philanthropic efforts. By operating globally and giving back locally, Walmart is uniquely positioned to address the needs of the communities it serves and make a significant social impact within its core areas of giving: Hunger Relief and Nutrition, Sustainability, Career Opportunity and Women’s Economic Empowerment.
Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are leading the fight against hunger in the United States with a $2 billion commitment through 2015. Walmart has donated more than one billion meals to those in need across the country. To learn more about Walmart’s giving, visit the Walmart Foundation site.