1,000 Maryland Shoppers Learn To Buy Healthy Groceries On A Budget

Sep 15, 2012, 09:00 ET from Share Our Strength

Interactive Shopping Matters® Tours Offered at Walmart

BALTIMORE, Sept. 15, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- More than 1,000 shoppers at Walmart locations across the state of Maryland learned new skills for buying healthy food on a limited budget today, after a series of educational tours held in the stores.  The Shopping Matters tours, developed by the anti-hunger nonprofit Share Our Strength® and led by Walmart associates, taught shoppers to compare unit prices, read food labels, identify whole grains and buy fruits and vegetables on a limited budget. After the tour, participants applied the skills they learned to buy ingredients that would make a healthy meal for a family of four, for under $10.

"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 Janet McLaughlin, Senior Director of Share Our Strength's Cooking Matters. "The cost of groceries is a big concern for Maryland families, but healthy eating doesn't have to break the bank."

In addition to the Shopping Matters tours, two Walmart stores held activities focused on healthy living for the nearby community. In the Bowie and Baltimore (Port Covington) locations, chefs and students from the American Culinary Federation demonstrated how to make Mango Salsa and taught shoppers about knife skills and safety. Local children learned about the MyPlate food icon and played games with the Wizard Girls, the official dance team of the Washington Wizards, and athletes from the University of Maryland.  

Shopping Matters is an initiative of Share Our Strength's Cooking Matters, a program that helps low-income families get the most bang for their buck at the grocery store and cook healthy, delicious meals. In early 2012, the Walmart Foundation announced a $4 million grant to Share Our Strength to support the expansion of Shopping Matters tours across the United States and to reach low-income families with hands-on cooking, shopping and nutrition education in six-week Cooking Matters courses.

Tours started in Maryland in early 2012 and will continue to be offered across the state as part of the Partnership to End Childhood Hunger, which is part of Maryland's efforts to increase access to healthy food for children at risk of hunger. Cooking Matters and Shopping Matters are part of the No Kid Hungry campaign, which works to end childhood hunger in America by connecting kids in need with nutritious food and teaching families how to cook healthy, affordable meals.

After completing a Shopping Matters 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.

For a video tour, or to learn more, visit ShoppingMatters.org.

Share Our Strength's No Kid Hungry campaign is ending childhood hunger in America by connecting kids in need with nutritious food and teaching families how to cook healthy, affordable meals, through its Cooking Matters program. Low-income families in America report that cost is their biggest barrier to making a healthy dinner at home. Cooking Matters participants learn to shop smarter, make healthier food choices, and cook delicious meals. Cooking Matters is nationally sponsored by the ConAgra Foods® Foundation and Walmart. For more information, visit CookingMatters.org.

Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are proud to support initiatives that are helping people live better around the globe. In May 2010, Walmart and its Foundation made a historic pledge of $2 billion through 2015 to fight hunger in the U.S. The Walmart Foundation also supports education, workforce development, environmental sustainability, and health and wellness initiatives. To learn more, visit www.walmartfoundation.org.

Laura Hosny

SOURCE Share Our Strength