Nine residents were treated with a free Shopping Matters grocery tour while learning how to make healthy food choices with limited resources.
The Shopping Matters tour was sponsored by North Georgia WIC and was held at the Kroger on Marietta Highway in Canton.
Led by Josefina Arvizu-Villela, a WIC nutritionist based in the Cherokee County Health Department who was recently trained as a Shopping Matters tour facilitator, the program is designed to empower residents with knowledge they need to shop and prepare healthy meals for their families.
"Often, people don't know how to buy nutritious, yet affordable food for their family because they don't understand which foods are best, nor do they know how to make sense of the labels," Arvizu-Villela said. "Shopping Matters empowers them to shop more effectively because it breaks it all down in a practical, sensible way."
The tour targeted foods available in the WIC program and gave residents the tools they need to make choices of foods in the program.
"Many moms I know don't pay attention to food labels or have any idea about nutrition," said tour participant Katherine Garcia of Woodstock. "They just buy food they think saves them money, but instead, it's often pre-processed. Today, I learned I can freeze fruits and vegetables and how to better read food labels for nutritional values."
Each family was given a $10 Kroger gift card and a pamphlet that included recipes and information provided during the tour. Shopping Matters is a branch of Cooking Matters, which is part of the national organization Share Our Strength.
Learning to fully utilize WIC and the SNAP program to purchase healthy, easy to cook meals is a key ingredient of the program.
Learn more about Shopping Matters and Cooking Matters at Share Our Strength's website: www.nokidhungry.org.
Another tour is slated for Tuesday at 1 p.m. at Kroger on Old Highway 5 in Holly Springs. For more information, call the local WIC office at 1 (866) 942-9675.