Meijer Teams Up With Generation With Promise to Provide Grocery Store Tours

Contact: James McCurtis (517) 241-2112
Agency: Community Health

January 27, 2009

Navigating the aisles of a grocery store can be an overwhelming experience when families are confronted with the number of food choices, let alone reading food labels. Michigan-based retailer Meijer wants to take the fear factor out of grocery shopping for parents and their children in underserved areas.

Meijer, based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, is partnering with "Generation With Promise" (GWP) by providing grocery store tours as part of a nutrition education class called "Side by Side." The class, offered by the Share Our Strength Operation Frontline Program, involves an educational field trip to Meijer that aims to empower and educate families about making healthy food choices.

"We know the importance of experiential learning," said Michigan Surgeon General Dr. Kimberlydawn Wisdom. "Meijer store tours provide parents with new information to make food purchases that are healthy, budget-conscious, easy to prepare and good tasting, too."

Each class is held after school and provides nutrition education and a cooking demonstration based on a sample recipe. The program is led by Generation With Promise facilitators, a chef from Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeast Michigan, and a nutrition educator from Michigan State University Extension. At the end of each session, the child and caregiver receive a bag of groceries with the necessary food items to recreate the sample recipe at home. Meijer also will provide simple meal planning ideas and recipes families can use to easily incorporate healthy food choices into family meals.

"Many people falsely believe that it costs more to eat healthy," said Christina Miller, M.S., RD, a healthy living advisor for Meijer. "These tours are an excellent opportunity for us to teach parents and their children how to make budget-wise, nutritious food choices."