Cooking Matters is a national campaign to help end childhood hunger by inspiring families to make healthy, affordable food choices. It includes a variety of programs designed to teach parents and caregivers of young children, with limited food budgets, to shop for and cook healthy meals.
FoodWIse recently partnered with Parent LIFE of Badgerland Youth for Christ to offer one specific Cooking Matters program called “Cooking Matters at the Store.” Youth for Christ is a faith-based organization that supports teen and young expectant and/or new parents. Cooking Matters at the Store is an interactive grocery store tour experience, which is a partnership between FoodWIse and Festival Foods in Fond du Lac. During the grocery store tour, Melanie Phillips (FoodWIse Nutrition Educator) took participants through the aisles of Festival Foods while highlighting key shopping tips to purchase healthy foods on a budget. Participants learned and practiced reading food labels, comparing unit prices, finding whole grain foods, and identifying three ways (fresh, frozen and canned) to purchase foods on a budget. Phillips used the Spend Smart. Eat Smart free app to help with all of these topics. At the end of each grocery store tour, participants receive a $10 grocery store gift card to spend on healthy foods for their family.
The partner and participants had overwhelmingly positive feedback about the tour and expressed that they would like to have another tour in the future. Participants were asked “what new ideas did you learn on this tour for saving money or buying healthier foods?” They responded that they learned how to unit price and how to make healthier choices while shopping.