JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Customers in one Region 8 store were learning how to shop on a budget.
The "Cooking Matters at the Store Tour" took place on Monday at Bill's Cost Plus in Jonesboro on Johnson.
Community Outreach Educator for UAMS Center on Aging Northeast Samantha Hollis said they set up multiple stations throughout the store focusing on a particular food group.
Each station had a booth instructor discussing healthy choices and money saving suggestions.
They even handed out an incentive to get people to participate.
"We have participants come in," Hollis said. "We give them the incentive of a ten-dollar gift card provided by Bill's. Bill's actually donated 100 ten-dollar gift cards. Then we provide them with health eating tips, as well as how to shop on a budget."
Hollis said it's important to get people educated.
"This is really important," Hollis said. "A lot of people are on snap dollars and on a fixed income. Seniors, maybe they're on social security and have very fixed income. So, we want to make sure they know how to take what they have and stretch it to the most that they can."
Bill's customer Lorina Allen dropped in the store and decided to participate in the event.
"I'm learning how to diet, anyway," Allen said. "This is like real beneficial to me right now. I learned about the grain, reading the labels as far as the bread and even storing the bread in the freezer so it won't mold. That was new to me. I'm like, wow, because I run through bread real fast."
Hollis said while they've participated in the program before, this was their first time to host it.
"This is the first time we have hosted this event," Hollis said. "We have partnered with the food bank and we have volunteers from the food bank here helping us today. But we serve seventeen counties, so we've done this in West Memphis as well as Forrest City. Bill's has a lot of grocery stores now throughout the state. So, we're trying to partner with some grocery stores so we can get more people involved."
UAMS Center for Aging Northeast partnered with the Food Bank of Northeast Arkansas, the U of A Extension Agency for Craighead County and Bill's Cost Plus on the project.
For more information about UAMS Center for Aging Northeast, click here.
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