It’s Food Day! A nationwide celebration and grassroots movement for healthy, affordable, and sustainable food. To mark the occasion, Inter-Faith Food Shuttle’s Nutrition Education division was out and about the Triangle leading multiple Cooking Matters at the Store tours. These interactive tours demonstrated skills for shopping healthy on a limited budget to low-income participants in Wake and Durham Counties.
“It’s great being part of creating national awareness around Food Day,” said IFFS Nutrition Programs Manager Katherine Moser. “We had amazing turnout from partner organizations providing volunteers who were trained to lead tours. We were able to lead tours in Durham, Zebulon, and Raleigh, instead of just one or two cities.”
IFFS facilitated tours at five different Food Lion stores throughout the day, assisted by 40 volunteers from Durham County Health Department, Wake County Health and Human Services, Meredith College, NC State University, and more.
Each 90-minute tour covered food groups, comparing fresh vs. canned vs. frozen produce, reading food labels and ingredients, and using unit prices to find the best buy.
“By learning to read food labels and unit prices, participants can buy the healthiest items while stretching their dollars,” explained Moser. “For example, many were surprised to learn that the listed serving size on a cereal box is often different than the amount of cereal in their bowl. On the tour we covered how to multiply the serving size and determine the real amount of sugar being eaten.”
The tours were capped off with a ”$10 Challenge” where participants practiced their new skills by purchasing items for a balanced meal using a $10 Food Lion gift card. The gift cards used in the “$10 Challenge” were generously donated by Food Lion as part of their corporate focus on hunger relief through the #FoodLionFeeds campaign.
But the impact of today’s outreach won’t end there.
“We also talked about food prep on the tours,” said Moser. “Participants received booklets with recipes which will help them cook the foods they bought in the healthiest ways.”
And today, as a special Food Day surprise, participants were allowed to keep the calculators used during the tours! This gift will help them continue to calculate unit prices and serving sizes on future shopping trips.
If you would like more information on Cooking Matters at the Store tours contact Elizabeth at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you would like to volunteer to help facilitate Cooking Matters at the Store tours, contact Elizabeth at email@example.com
If you would like to support Nutrition Education programs, donate here.
About Food Day:
Food Day inspires Americans to change their diets and our food policies. Every October 24, thousands of events all around the country bring Americans together to celebrate and enjoy real food and to push for improved food policies. To learn more, visit http://www.foodday.org/