But what is food resource management exactly? Food resource management (FRM) skills are the skills necessary to make the most of available food resources. These skills include menu planning, smart purchasing techniques, and creative usage of available resources.
Week five of the class traditionally involves a field trip to the grocery store, where participants get hands on practice with label reading and comparison shopping. This class session is the most obvious opportunity to focus on creative development of FRM skills. For the new OFL volunteer, leading a successful grocery store tour can be somewhat daunting because it is so different from a normal class. In order to make the grocery store visit more approachable, we asked one of our longtime volunteers Gaynol Flora to lead us through an example grocery store tour. For those of you that missed the field trip, Gaynol wrote an excellent tutorial that takes you through the store. You can read all about it on her blog.
One great way to prepare for a grocery store tour is to think about a couple of the take home messages or skills that you are hoping that participants will walk away with, and then try and brainstorm an activity that you can do in the store that will help to reinforce this skill. As we like to say at OFL there are no bad foods, and this is especially important to keep in mind at the grocery store. We are not there to tell people what to buy and what not to buy, but rather we are trying to equip participants with the skills necessary to make informed choices at the grocery store. For example, say you are hoping that participants will be able to identify whole grain products in the bread aisle. You can choose a couple of loafs of bread, and ask participants to check whether or not they are whole grain products. How do they know? Have them practice reading ingredients lists to identify the whole grain breads.
Overall the workshop was a really great chance for OFL volunteers new and old to share and brainstorm different ideas. I think that we all walked away with a bunch of great new ideas about different ways to build FRM skills throughout an OFL class.