Summer Youth: A Trip to the Grocery Store

Recently our Summer Youth Program kids took a trip to the store. Actually three stores. The objective was to learn about food in the store, how much it cost, what it was made of and how to prepare meals.

Instructor Viviana Lindo had come with a strategy for them: to find selected produce items in each store, note their cost and where they came from. To discover how much sports drinks cost versus apple juice, and what the first three ingredients of both. Another task was to make a meal for two for $20, using what they found in the store.

Like a treasure hunt, the kids partnered up and spread out through each store, learning how to find the items, and working together to get the information.  They visited three stores in turn, each very different: an international market full of exotic potatoes and various types of greens; Glut, a small co-op, where a dredlocked store manager handed out plums, and Yes! Organic Market, where the store shelves gleamed and everything was tidy.  They were also asked how they felt about each store: the environment, the smell, the way the food was organized.

At the end of the trip, everyone reported back, noting such things as all the weird things that are listed as the first three ingredients of various drinks, who had the cheapest prices, and what was the best deal.

Participant Pauline reflected, “This program has impacted our lives. My family has decided to change our diet by eating less fast food products.”

“We are learning about the challenges of selling food too, says Fiance, another participant. “How much the farmer earns when selling crops to grocery stores; they get the smallest amount.”

Click here to view a photo gallery of the trip.