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Food Program Aims to Educate Families

The Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance will present a program to help low-income families stretch their dollar at grocery stores.

The Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance will present "Cooking Matters at the Store" at Harp's Food Stores today (April 8) in Fort Smith and Fayetteville.

Representatives will be on hand to help educate shoppers how to make smart and healthy decisions while grocery shopping.

Several different stations will be set up throughout Harp's to help shoppers understand nutrition labels and unit pricing, while also emphasizing the benefits of buying in bulk.

"Fresh, frozen and canned can sometimes all be healthy options. It just depends on 'Is it in season?' It might be cheaper," said Rachel Townsend of Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance. "Sometimes it'll be cheaper if it's canned. If it's got a lot of sodium in it and it's canned, you can rinse it off and reduce the sodium by a large percentage. Frozen vegetables are picked at the height of freshness."

The first 100 participants will receive a $10 gift card at the end of the tour. The will also be a representative on site to help shoppers apply for SNAP benefits, if they qualify.