U.S. SENATOR JOHN BOOZMAN, ARKANSAS LEGISLATORS AND FAMILIES LEARN TO SHOP FOR HEALTHY MEALS ON A BUDGET
SEPT 13, 2013 - LITTLE ROCK, ARKANSAS – U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) joined local families on an interactive grocery store tour hosted by the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance and led by a nutrition educator from the Arkansas Children’s Hospital at a Walmart Neighborhood Market earlier this month. The tour, Cooking Matters at the Store, empowers low-income families to buy healthy, affordable food and learn lifelong skills to feed their children healthy meals. Arkansas State Representatives Mary Slinkard and Stephanie Malone joined Boozman on the tour.
Cooking Matters at the Store is one of the types of nutrition education supported with funding from SNAP Nutrition Education – or SNAP Ed – a federal program that helps families on SNAP (food stamps) stretch their food budgets and cook healthy meals for their kids. SNAP-Ed funded programs like Cooking Matters at the Store leverage federal funding to bring in private investment, making federal dollars stretch even further.
“Providing the tools families need to make healthy eating decisions is important as we address food insecurity in Arkansas,” Boozman, a co-chair of the Senate Hunger Caucus said. “Creative methods, like Cooking Matters at the Store, encourage nutritious meal planning and practices that enable families to make healthy choices and eliminate food insecurity in their lives.”
“Cooking Matters at the Store is such an important program for low income Arkansans, many of whom tell us after their tours that they feel empowered to actually improve the health and nutrition of their families,” said Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance Director of Communication Nancy Conley. “We are very pleased to have the interest and support of leaders like Senator Boozman and State Representatives Malone and Slinkard, and would welcome their help in spreading the word about the value of SNAP-Ed funding in our state and across the nation.”
The Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance partners with Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign to offer Cooking Matters cooking courses and grocery store tours to low-income families across Arkansas.
“When we teach families to eat healthier, we’re saving our country money in the long run in health care costs and lost wages due to health issues,” said Chef Gregory Silverman, Director of Cooking Matters at the Store. “SNAP-Ed is a smart investment.”
The tour was held in the Walmart Neighborhood Market on Cantrell Road in Little Rock. Cooking Matters at the Store is made possible by the generous support of the Walmart Foundation, which has invested more than $7.5 million in Cooking Matters since 2010 to help low-income families stretch their food dollars so their children get healthy meals at home.
About the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance
The Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance (Alliance) is a nonprofit collaborative network of hunger relief organizations throughout Arkansas. The Alliance works with local, state and federal organizations to keep food on the tables of Arkansans who need it most. The Alliance and its members provided more than 29 million pounds of food to hungry Arkansans in 2010. The Alliance was formed in 2004 with 6 founding members. The organization includes over 200 different members including food bank members, local hunger relief agencies such as food pantries, emergency shelters and soup kitchens, state level hunger programs and hunger advocates from around the state who lend their time, talent or other resources to help reduce hunger in Arkansas. Visit www.arhungeralliance.org to learn more.
About Cooking Matters
Share Our Strength’s Cooking Matters® empowers low-income families with the skills to stretch their food budgets so their children get healthy meals at home, as part of the No Kid Hungry® campaign to end childhood hunger in America. Participants learn to shop smarter, use nutrition information to make healthier choices, and cook delicious, affordable meals. Cooking Matters helps families maximize the benefits they receive through federal nutrition programs like SNAP (food stamps) and WIC (Women, Infants and Children). Walmart is the national sponsor of Cooking Matters. Visit CookingMatters.org to learn more.