Buying Healthy Food on a Budget: Cooking Matters at the Store NATIONAL SPONSOR

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1 Buying Healthy Food on a Budget: Cooking Matters at the Store NATIONAL SPONSOR

2 It All Starts with the Cart

3 Survey Says What do low-income families say is their biggest barrier to making healthy meals? It s hard to get to a grocery store. My family doesn t like the taste of healthy food. Healthy groceries cost too much. 3

4 Grocery Cost Seen as a Barrier 4

5 Food Skills Can Help 5

6 Two Moms Stories Stacy and her husband Erik live in Colorado with their two young daughters. Erik is an active duty infantryman in the Army and is in school part-time. Stacy works in the Emergency Medical Services department at her school, where she s pursuing a nursing degree. With both parents in school, money is tight. The family receives WIC benefits to help get by. Stacy spends about an hour and a half every week scanning the grocery circulars and clipping coupons. I shop when stuff is really cheap, she says. Lareese is a busy mother of two. She s trained as a dental assistant, but on-and-off employment in her small Maryland town has sometimes made it tough to make ends meet. SNAP benefits help her put food on the table during the times she s unable to find work. Her benefits amount to about $1.80 per meal per person. Getting to the grocery store can be hard, because the family doesn't own a car. Lareese sometimes runs short on groceries before her SNAP benefits renew and before she can get back to the store. 6

7 No Kid Hungry

8 U.S. Child Hunger & Obesity 1 in 5 children at risk of hunger Hunger leads to health, educational and behavioral issues Hunger costs the U.S. economy $167.5 billion in lost productivity & healthcare costs 1 in 3 kids overweight or obese Obese children more likely to become obese adults $14 billion spent annually on healthcare related to child obesity 8

9 Families Are Struggling Families are already struggling in 2012 more than 48 million Americans lived in households that struggled with hunger SNAP benefits are already low, averaging only $133 per person, per month Even now, SNAP recipients often run out of benefits before the end of the month Share Our Strength s Cooking Matters 9

10 Impact of the SNAP Cuts Effective November 1 On November 1, 2013, every SNAP household in America saw a cut in their SNAP benefits The size of the benefit cut depends on the household s income, expenses, and size. Household Size Monthly benefit cut Total Annual Cut Household of 1 - $11 - $132 Household of 2 - $20 - $240 Household of 3 - $29 - $348 Household of 4 - $36 - $432 Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture, SNAP Fiscal Year 2014 Cost-of-Living Adjustments and ARRA Sunset Impact on Allotments, August 1, Share Our Strength s Cooking Matters 10

11 Cuts Will Mean Lost Meals Now, the average SNAP benefit per person, per meal = $1.40 A household of four people losing $36 a month will see a loss of more than 20 meals each month. The cut to SNAP benefits mean that families will have to find ways to stretch their already limited benefits even further at the grocery store Share Our Strength s Cooking Matters 11

12 What $36 Buys You Share Our Strength s Cooking Matters 12

13 Strategy Connect kids in need with nutritious food and teach their families how to cook healthy, affordable, delicious meals. Access Education Success: All kids have the healthy food they need every day. 13

14 Education Cooking Courses Six weeks, two hours a week Taught by volunteer chefs & nutrition educators Specialized curricula for adults, families, kids and teens Hosted at community sites Grocery Store Tours One time event lasting 1.5 hours Taught by community agency staff & others Specialized curricula for adults and WIC parents Hosted anywhere people shop for food 14

15 Cooking Matters at the Store

16 Food Skill #1 Compare unit prices 58% of Cooking Matters at the Store graduates intend to compare unit prices to find the best deal 16

17 Food Skill #2 Identify whole grains 63% of Cooking Matters at the Store graduates intend to read ingredient lists to find whole grains 17

18 Food Skill #3 Read Food Labels 58% of Cooking Matters at the Store graduates intend to compare food labels to make healthy choices 18

19 Food Skill #4 Identify 3 ways to buy produce on a budget 88% of Cooking Matters at the Store for WIC Parents graduates are very or completely confident in their ability to make the most of WIC fruit and vegetable vouchers 19

20 Cooking Matters at the Store Works

21 Independent Evaluation Program evaluation: Independent evaluation by Altarum Institute conducted in early 2013 Behavior change data from post-tour surveys 20 years of experience serving low-income communities 21

22 Two Moms Stories Stacy had a pretty good idea about healthy food before the Cooking Matters grocery store tour, but she is now more conscious about her choices when grocery shopping. I learned quite a few new things, like unit pricing, that I didn t really look for before. Stacy now buys in bulk and freezes what she s not going to use right away. She s also taking portion size into account more - a 32 oz. block of cheese now lasts a couple of weeks because she weighs each portion. I feel like I was wasting a lot of money, Stacy says of her time before the tour. Lareese s SNAP benefits last longer than they did before Cooking Matters up to a week and a half longer sometimes. She s stretching her dollars primarily by shopping smarter - writing a list, comparing unit prices, and reading food labels. This little thing is three gulps and you ve had 25 grams of sugar! Lareese exclaimed about an 8 oz. bottle of mango soda back when we tagged along on a grocery trip. Lareese learned how to make her food assistance dollars last longer on the tour. Before, $6 would get her two fresh fruit and vegetable items. Now, she is able to buy two packages of frozen fruit, two cans of fruit and a pack of applesauce with that same amount. The program has changed my life, she says. 22

23 Cooking Matters at the Store in Your Community

24 Grocery Stores When possible, select grocery stores that: Accept EBT and/or WIC benefits Offer a variety of grocery items, especially those needed to teach key skills during the tour Are located near participants homes or near partner organizations where participants visit (e.g. schools, Head Starts, churches, etc.) Have wide aisles to accommodate tours Share Our Strength s Cooking Matters 24

25 Tour Leaders Staff integrating grocery store tours into services provided to clients: Head Start nutritionists/family services staff WIC nutritionists/paraprofessionals Cooperative Extension home economists Volunteers with background in health, culinary, or wellness: Chefs Nutrition educators Dietetics interns Community leaders Share Our Strength s Cooking Matters 25

26 Tour Participants Mothers of kids under six are the most critical audience for education on cooking and shopping. Examples of ideal partner organizations serving this target population: Head Start and Early Head Start Centers WIC agencies Try to schedule tours with groups of participants who have a common denominator. For example, Spanishspeaking participants, young moms, etc. Share Our Strength s Cooking Matters 26

27 Tour Materials and Resources Share Our Strength s Cooking Matters 27

28 Tour Materials and Resources: Learning Space

29 TRAINING COURSE This is the WIC Parents Training Course home page. Tour Materials and Resources: Learning Space

30 Tour Materials and Resources: Learning Space

31 Next Steps & Getting Started Examples from the Field Share Our Strength s Cooking Matters 31

32 Examples from the Field Here are some ways Tour Leaders and Partners have integrated Cooking Matters at the Store into their work: Tour Leaders- Organizations have successfully partnered with dietetic interns, community volunteers, and health advocates, to lead tours in their community. Grocery Stores- Tour Leaders have formed lasting partnerships with store managers by meeting managers and working directly with them to schedule tours in stores. Participants- Organizations have made tour advocates of their staff by providing them with the experience. Share Our Strength s Cooking Matters 32

33 Maricopa Head Start has integrated tours into the organization s programming To recruit participants for tours, nutrition staff work with Family Support Workers who interact more closely with families. The tours are organized by site to choose a grocery store close to their site.

34 Department of Defense Healthy Base Initiative: Shopping Tours in Commissaries Kickoff event for the Healthy Base Initiative at Fort Bragg, NC November 14, 2013

35 Advocate with Cooking Matters at the Store Members of Congress have joined Cooking Matters at the Store tours to see the program in action Connects the importance of nutrition education to protecting funding for SNAP and SNAP Ed

36 Leading a Tour in Your Community Cooking Matters Presentation 36

37 Researched-Based Objectives Compare unit prices Identify whole grains Identify 3 ways to buy produce on a budget Read and compare food labels Share Our Strength s Cooking Matters 37

38 How to Open a Tour

39 Facilitated Dialogue Cooking Matters Presentation 39

40 Facilitated Dialogue A method of group teaching that involves active participation of both the learner and the educator Recognizes that learners are 'experts' in their own lives. Involves sharing and comparing of experiences from members of the group. Creates a safe environment for learners to consider changing behaviors. Share Our Strength s Cooking Matters 40

41 How to Teach Buying Fruits and Vegetables on a Budget

42 Objective 1: Buying Fruits and Vegetables on a Budget Share Our Strength s Cooking Matters 42

43 Buying Fruits and Vegetables on a Budget Talking Points: Fresh, Frozen and Canned ASK: Which form of fruits and veggies do you prefer (fresh, frozen, canned)? Why? ACTIVITY: Have participants brainstorm pros and cons of each form. - Use the Fresh, Frozen, and Canned handout (page 2) to add any points they may have missed. - Summarize that there is no best form of produce. We will discuss ways to save money no matter which form you purchase. Share Our Strength s Cooking Matters 43

44 Fresh Produce Section Talking Points: Saving $ on Fresh Produce Money-Saving Tip #1: Purchase fresh produce in season. - Point out that most fresh fruits and vegetables are priced lower when they are in season. - Show participants where they can find seasonal produce in your store. Money-Saving Tip #2: Buy whole produce. - Explain that prepackaged and other convenience forms of produce (e.g., bagged salad, pre-cut carrots) can cost more than the whole forms (e.g., a head of lettuce, whole carrots). - Show participants how to compare unit prices. Money-Saving Tip #3: Buy fresh produce in bulk. - Point out that bulk produce (like a 5 pound bag of apples) often has a better unit price than loose produce (like individual apples). ACTIVITY: Have participants compare unit price between bagged baby or shredded carrots and whole carrots. - Encourage participants to save money by buying whole produce do the rinsing and chopping at home! Share Our Strength s Cooking Matters 44

45 Canned Produce Section Share Our Strength s Cooking Matters 45

46 Canned Produce Section Talking Points: Saving $ with Canned Produce - Remind participants that canned produce can be a well-priced alternative to fresh, particularly when that produce is out-ofseason. Talking Points: Choosing Healthy with Canned Produce - Point out where to look on the can for low-sodium or no salt added canned veggies. - Show participants how to find fruits canned in juice instead of syrup. - ACTIVITY: Show participants how to compare food labels. Have participants compare sodium levels in a regular versus low-sodium or no salt added can of the same vegetable. Share Our Strength s Cooking Matters 46

47 Frozen Produce Section Share Our Strength s Cooking Matters 47

48 Frozen Produce Section Talking Points: Saving $ with Frozen Produce -Remind participants that frozen produce can be a well-priced alternative to fresh, particularly when that produce is out-ofseason. ACTIVITY: Have participants compare the cost-per-pound of the fresh green beans (or other produce) calculated in the fresh produce section to the cost-per-pound of frozen green beans. Talking Points: Choosing Healthy with Frozen Produce - Show participants how to look at the ingredient list to be sure the bag includes ONLY the frozen produce and not any extra sodium, fat, or sugar. Share Our Strength s Cooking Matters 48

49 How to Teach Comparing Unit Prices

50 Objective 2: Comparing Unit Prices Unit price tells you the price per unit. Use it to compare with other brands or sizes. Your total cost for the item.

51 Comparing Unit Prices: No Math! Share Our Strength s Cooking Matters 51

52 Comparing Unit Prices: Math Number of units Unit price = Total Cost Number of units Your total cost for the item. In this example, unit price = $1.99 = $0.13 per ounce 15 oz

53 How to Teach Reading Food Labels

54 Objective 3: Read and Compare Food Labels Pasta with Beans and Greens Asian Noodles with Peanut Butter Sauce Aim low on calories, saturated fat, sodium, and sugars. Share Our Strength s Cooking Matters 54

55 How to Teach Identifying Whole Grains

56 Objective 4: Identifying Whole Grains Share Our Strength s Cooking Matters 56

57 Identifying Whole Grains - Check the ingredient list. - First ingredient must be a whole grain. - Common tricks: - Brown bread - Name of the bread: multi-grain, wheat, stone-ground - Front-of-package labels like made with whole grains or X grams of whole grains - The only way to be sure is to read the ingredient list! Share Our Strength s Cooking Matters 57

58 Leading a Tour: Best Practices

59 Tour Best Practices Designate a location at the front of the store to welcome participants. Explain that today we are going to learn how to make smart choices at the store while watching our food dollars. Keep groups small, between 7 to 12 participants per tour. For every 5-7 participants have one assistant or additional facilitator to help move the tour along. Establish a rule that children may or may not attend a tour. If allowing children to attend consider ways to engage them during the tour (i.e. activities, coloring pages, etc.) Distribute a short, paper-based participant survey immediately after the tour. Send the surveys and reporting forms to Share Our Strength within one week of completing the tour. Share Our Strength s Cooking Matters 59

60 Participant Recruitment Tips Offer clear directions on store location, time, date and meeting place. Overbook your tours. Send a reminder. Offer incentives. Advertise the incentives. Make the tour part of an educational requirement (SNAPed, etc.). Consider in-store recruitment. Offer childcare during tour or have activities for kids Ask participants to spread the word or invite friends and family. Share Our Strength s Cooking Matters 60

61 Tips for Working with Stores Call or visit the store manager to introduce yourself and Shopping Matters. Take a letter/send an that outlines the program. Ask what the best times and dates are to host a tour. Ask for $10 gift cards. It won t hurt! Ask the store to designate one lane to have participants check out during the $10 Challenge (optional). Share Our Strength s Cooking Matters 61

62 Next Steps & Getting Started Next Steps and Getting Started

63 Next Steps & Getting Started 1. Fill out the Tour Leader Sign up form on the Cooking Matters Website, 1. Complete the 10 question final assessment to confirm your in-person training through the Cooking Matters Learning Space. 2. Order tour materials through our online fulfillment center. 3. Lead a tour! 4. Report back to Share Our Strength tour success and reach. Share Our Strength s Cooking Matters 63

64 Questions and Discussion

65 THANK YOU!

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