Canton (GA) - Nine local residents and their children were taken on a free Shopping Matters grocery tour at Kroger in Canton on Thursday where they learned how to make healthy food choices on a limited budget.
The Shopping Matters tour was sponsored by North Georgia WIC and was 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.
"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 explained. "Shopping Matters empowers them to shop more effectively because it breaks it all down in a practical, sensible way."
This tour focused particularly on foods available in the Women's, Infants and Children (WIC) food package and taught ways to make healthy, affordable choices among these foods.
Woodstock "Many moms I know don't pay attention to food labels or have any idea about nutrition," tour participant Katherine Garcia of said. "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."
At the end of the tour, Shopping Matters participants were given a $10 Kroger Gift Card and a guidebook that includes tasty, simple recipes and information provided during the tour.
An additional Shopping Matters tour will be conducted next Tuesday, October 30 at 1 p.m. at Kroger in Woodstock on Old Highway 5. For more details, call the local WIC office at 1 (866) 942-9675.
"We hope to continue providing Shopping Matters tours here in Cherokee County; however, that is contingent on future collaborations with local grocery stores," said Karen Rutledge, program manager for North Georgia WIC of the North Georgia Health District.
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.