Thrifty Foods funds community health co-op placements

A new partnership between Thrifty Foods, UVic and community recreation centres in Thrifty’s service areas will help people from youth to seniors learn how to make healthier food choices.

Over the next two years, Thrifty’s will host a series of free “Nutrition for You” educational seminars, and the Victoria-based grocery chain is funding a UVic student for three co-op work terms to evaluate the effectiveness of the initiative.

The students will be working with UVic Canada Research Chair in Health and Society and former co-op student Joan Wharf Higgins. Last year she developed an evaluation process tool kit for the BC Recreation and Park Association-led Active Communities initiative, part of the provincial government’s ActNow platform.

The co-op students funded by Thrifty Foods will use the same evaluation process to document the effectiveness of the seminars aimed at youths aged nine to 12 years, adults, adults in the workplace and seniors.

“UVic is very pleased that Thrifty Foods is choosing to celebrate its 30th anniversary celebrations by generously supporting our co-op program,” said UVic Vice-President External Relations Valerie Kuehne at the partnership announcement at Pearkes Recreation Centre last month.

Not only will this support provide a valuable community-based learning experience for our students, it will add to our expanding knowledge about how to improve the health of our communities and our citizens.”

Keuhne expanded her own knowledge about nutritional eating at the announcement when she was paired with Saanich Mayor Frank Leonard in a smoothie-making competition. Facing off against the pairings of Thrifty’s CEO Milford Sorensen and Victoria Mayor Alan Lowe and Minister of State for ActNow BC Gordon Hogg and Lorna Curtis of Recreation Oak Bay the teams raced against the clock to combine the best concoction from provided ingredients. The contest was declared a draw.

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