$10 challenge

Friday, October 19, 2012

A couple weeks back, I was able to participate in a Cooking Matters supermarket tour. Cooking Matters is another arm of Share Our Strength that focuses more on educating kids and their parents on how to buy, prepare and cook healthy, affordable meals for their families. The supermarket tour is a guided tour that explains how they're set up, what to look for on labels, how to find the best deals, etc.

I have to be honest, I didn't think it would be very exciting, but the more I thought about it the more I realized I really don't know much about how to shop for groceries! So then I got super excited about it and had my notepad and pen ready when we walked in. 

It was so much better than I expected. We toured with a group of young, single mothers and to see them really benefiting from the program - paying attention, asking questions, relating it to their shopping habits -  once again reminded me why I love my job. 

After the tour, the students were given a $10 challenge - they had to create a meal for four people for $10 or less. AND they had to include a protein, starch, vegetable and fruit. Obviously Allison and I ran to grab our own cart and did it with them! I have to give props to Allison for giving me an idea for a meal .(Remember, I'm still getting the hang of this whole cooking thing.)

Here's my basket....

Two sweet potatoes - $1.21
One pear - $1.98
One bag of frozen broccoli - $1.00
One lime - $0.25
Two chicken breasts - $2.60

TOTAL: $7.04

As fun as it was, it was also a harsh look at reality. Those who are on SNAP or WIC (aka Food Stamps) have to survive on roughly $4/day. Although it's doable, it's very difficult to do it healthy. (By the way, if you're interested they actually have Food Stamp Challenges you can participate in: http://frac.org/initiatives/snapfood-stamp-challenges/). Programs like Cooking Matters help empower these families to cook healthy meals on their budget.

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