The most common theme throughout our group’s participant goals focused on trying new foods and trying to like healthy foods. Participants could name examples of healthy food choices but they didn’t admit to eating them often or even at all. I cold-called several local grocery stores and spoke to the managers about the possibility of getting a small tray of fruit and veggies donated. Not every manager was as helpful or friendly but what I found out was that one larger grocery store chain had an online donation request form that was very cumbersome. The managers I spoke with from this chain said that my request was small enough that it should be fine for me to work directly with my nearest store. I even spoke with one manager who agreed to work with the store nutritionist and his produce department to come up with the items they could have available for us to donate that would be most beneficial. The morning of this lesson I went to the grocery and picked up an entire basket full of fruits and vegetables that the grocery store manager had reserved for me. The items were scanned in as samples and provided more than enough food for our group to taste and even take some home.
In addition I wanted my group to try some whole grains so I also provided cous cous or quinoa and hummus because we had talked about these food items in class. Instead of asking for a donation, myself and my partner made these items ourselves to bring in and share. The participants were encouraged to at least taste and try everything and they could spit it out if they didn’t like it. I made a sheet that listed all the foods we tried and what food group they belonged to and had a spot for them to circle if they liked it yes or no. This allowed for participants to take these papers home so that their friends and caregivers could see the healthy foods they tried and the ones they liked so that hopefully opportunities for those same healthy foods to be eaten would be provided in the future.