March 28, 2014
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Shoppers study food labels as they learn about the nutritional benefits in many budget-friendly foods.​

As part of National Nutrition Month, BI-LO stores throughout South Carolina teamed up with Cooking Matters, the South Carolina Association of Nutrition and Dietetics, and the South Carolina Department of Health & Environmental Control to host “Cooking Matters at the Store” tours.

The tours provided an interactive learning experience for people interested in learning how to shop for and prepare nutritious meals- even on a budget.

The goal of the tour was to teach smart choices when it comes to grocery shopping on a budget, and about 200 participants in South Carolina BI-LO stores received the valuable information over just two days. Dieticians shopped with participants like college student Shatara Jones to help them to understand the importance of comparing unit prices, buying fruits and vegetables, and understanding the nutritional labels that appear on packaging.

"There is a lot that can be overwhelming, but we want them to know it's possible to shop on a budget and get healthy food and make it tasty," said Dana Mitchell, Nutritionist for the Lowcountry Food Bank.

The dieticians also highlighted the importance of including the five main food groups: vegetables, fruit, whole grains, dairy and protein into their normal grocery shopping. Participants were also each given an end goal to complete a meal on a $10 budget provided through a BI-LO gift card.

"Today is the first day I'm going to put forth the effort, because I see that it's affordable," Jones said.

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