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Buy This, Not That: “Shopping Matters” Focuses on Nutrition and Budgets

PHOTO: Mother shopping with child. Courtesy of Share Our Strength
PHOTO: Mother shopping with child. Courtesy of Share Our Strength
September 10, 2012

BALTIMORE, Md. - Buy this, not that. On Saturday, Sept. 15, Share Our Strength is partnering with Walmart stores throughout the state to offer free "shopping matters" tours. Their goal is to help people stretch their food budget while focusing on fruits, vegetables and whole grains - no matter where they usually buy their food.

Gregory Silverman, senior manager of education outreach with Share Our Strength, says those menu decisions can vary depending on the time of year and where a family is in their budget cycle. He adds that healthy choices exist beyond the fresh produce section.

"Frozen vegetables are frozen at the peak of freshness, and they can really be a great cost-saver and a way to keep some vegetables at home, ready to go when you want a quick meal."

People who sign up online ahead of time are eligible for a $10 gift card that will be used for a "shopping challenge" after the event. Families can keep all the groceries in the challenge. A limited number of gift cards are available.

Silverman says the tours will also teach about decoding product labels so people can decide which foods best fit their family's tastes.

"We help people look at nutritional labels and unravel the numbers to help them make smart choices related to fat levels, salt levels, sugar levels - no matter what the product they're purchasing."

While it is often said that buying healthy foods is more expensive than purchasing less-healthy options, Silverman promises they will show in the tours how that is not true.

Details about the "shopping matters" tours and the shopping card sign-up are at www.strength.org.

Deborah Courson Smith/Deb Courson Smith, Public News Service - MD