The Community Food Co-op of Utah Makes Food Fun for Kids
Children in Salt Lake City, Utah are learning more about where their food comes from thanks to the innovative work of the Community Food Co-op of Utah, a Let’s Move supporter. According to their marketing manager, Leslie Proctor, this non-profit organization uses creativity to make learning about nutrition both exciting and rewarding. One activity Leslie incorporates into their nutrition education program is a question and answer game, in which children learn fun facts about healthy food. When a child answers a question correctly, they are rewarded with fresh produce, creating a positive connection between reward and health. Rather than the more frequent association of a sugary snack such as candy serving as an award for success, at this food store veggies are the desired prize. So ignore the sweets and pass the zucchini!
The mission of the Community Food Co-op of Utah is to provide affordable food to all community members. Although everyone is encouraged to utilize the co-op’s services regardless of socioeconomic status, they are especially trying to serve those who experience food insecurity. As Leslie Proctor explains, “All community members are welcome because it helps sustain the program and allows lower-income families to shop alongside their neighbors with a sense of dignity.”
Whether she’s hula-hooping or doing jumping jacks, the Community Food Co-op of Utah was delighted to see First Lady Michelle Obama encouraging kids to get active and that joining in on the fun herself. In the spirit of the First Lady’s Let’s Move initiative, the Food Co-op of Utah continues to move toward a healthier generation of children by increasing healthy food accessibility year round. Every Monday the Food Co-op of Utah hosts The Monday Market in a large warehouse in Salt Lake City. The Monday Market offers an array of fresh produce, frozen food items, meat and more at reduced prices. They keep food affordable through cooperative purchasing and decreased labor costs due to the generosity of volunteers. With the aim of providing high quality affordable food, all the food supplied is local unless an item cannot be produced close by. Their commitment to providing resources for wellness is continued year round and can serve as an inspiration to those already on the move or ready to take action.