CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - College student Shatara Jones is usually in her books, but on this day she is getting a hands on experience in the grocery store.
Jones is one of several participants taking part in an interactive store tour through a partnership between the Lowcountry Food Bank and Share Our Strengths. The goal of the tour is to teach smart choices when it comes to grocery shopping on a budget.
"I normally come in and throw anything on my list in the buggy and just go," Shatara Jones said.
Jones along with several others learned more than just the basics.
The group walked through the store with nutrition professionals to understand the importance of comparing unit prices, buying fruits and vegetables on a budget and understanding the nutrition labels on the back of packaging.
"The key is turn it over and compare and read the ingredient list so they can make the better choices," said nutritional tour guide Tracie Davis.
"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 with the Lowcountry Food Bank.
The dieticians also highlighted the importance of including the five main food groups: vegetables, fruit,whole grains, dairy and protein.
In the end, the participants seemed to welcome the changes.
"It showed me how to think about what I'm eating and make those critical choices when I'm on a budget and not compromising with nutrition," said participant Jennifer Winston.
"Today is the first day I'm going to put fourth the effort because I see that it's affordable," Shatara Jones said.
The hope is take more than 200 participants to Bilo stores locally in the next two days and teach them about healthier and more cost effective food options.