Nutrition program educates students on a budget
Published: Monday, October 21, 2013
Updated: Monday, October 21, 2013 21:10
Most students are all too familiar with the scenario where one is forced to scrape by on yet another pack of ramen noodles or box of macaroni and cheese, biding the time until payday.
Food Sense, a national program aimed toward the education of low-income individuals on sound practices for healthy and affordable eating, is working to help students and residents of Cache Valley combat poor nutrition through USU’s Cooperative Extension.
Food Sense was established under the United States’ Food and Nutrition Services to aid those relying on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program — formerly known as food stamps.
“Food Sense is really to educate people who are on food stamps, or SNAPS,” said Tayla Lambright, a nutrition educator assistant at Cache Valley’s Food Sense and USU dietetics student. “Our program is to educate people who are on a budget to make affordable and nutritious recipes at home.”
Though the program was created for utilization by SNAPS recipients, Lambright said the class, which is held twice each month, is free to anyone interested in participating. She said the class is especially beneficial for students and parents of young families who often must maintain a tight budget of their grocery expenses.
“Whether you are 18 or 45, you can always improve on your budgeting skills as far as food goes,” Lambright said.
Topics of discussion at some recent Food Sense classes have included “slashing your grocery bill” in August and cooking tips for pressure cookers in September, Lambright said.
“October is all about grains,” she said.
Focusing on the benefits of consuming primarily whole foods — both financial and nutritional — Lambright said the skills taught in the classes may be used to greatly improve nutrition while also saving money on food.
“People think they have to spend a lot of money to eat well, but they don’t,” she said. “Eating well does not have to break your budget.”
Meryann Taylor, who frequently attends Food Sense classes at USU Extension’s Juab County Center, said she has learned many things through the classes that have helped her in shopping for and preparing food for her husband and two children.