Weis Mystery Tours Company: Weis Markets Program category: Neighborhood Health Improvement Programs Origins: The Weis Mystery Tours™ program began as a single idea in 2007 at the Weis Markets, Inc. corporate office in Sunbury, PA. Program content was developed and designed in 2008 by the Weis Markets’ team of Registered Dietitians to reinforce the USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the Department of Education health and wellness curricula. The program was created to help combat childhood obesity and encourage daily physical activity. A small three-store pilot was approved and tested. The pilot program was evaluated and presented to our executive team for approval to expand. Next, training processes were outlined to prepare for a full store launch in 2009. Since 2010, Weis Mystery Tours tour leaders have conducted more than 950 tours, reaching more than 14,000 children. The program continues to expand and is currently offered at 88 Weis Markets locations in Pennsylvania, Maryland, New York and New Jersey. Contribution: The Weis Mystery Tours™ program is promoted at all store locations and on the Weis Markets website. All stores display Mystery Tours brochures to highlight the program to interested participants and in-store overhead messages provide additional program information. In addition, the 88 store locations that host tours display a bulletin board at the store’s main entrance or exit. These boards showcase tour pictures and feedback. Associates at all locations are trained annually on the program details so they are able to answer customer questions about the program and direct them to the website for scheduling. The program re-launches each year during back to school time with four weeks of vendor-sponsored feature ads that promote family-friendly back to school products. All stores execute an end-cap display of these selected products and the program is highlighted throughout the store with Mystery Tours signage. Since inception, tour leaders have conducted more than 950 tours, reaching more than 14,000 children. Objectives: The Weis Mystery Tours™ program is a free interactive nutrition education field trip program designed to teach children, ages 7 through 10, the fundamentals of healthy eating and combat childhood obesity. The tours encourage participants to make sensible food choices and to engage in daily physical activity. Students gear up with a detective hat, badge, magnifying glass and clue pad and venture into supermarket aisles in search of clues. After exploring the five main food groups, reading nutrition labels and sampling new foods, students uncover the clues they need to solve the Case of the Missing Energy. Upon completion of the tour, children, parents and teachers receive a packet that reinforces the concepts learned throughout the tour. Resources include a parent-child activity that practice healthy and support materials for teachers to use in the classroom. Impact: The Weis Mystery Tours program has had a great impact on participating groups. Groups share feedback about their tours and what they have learned. Groups indicate that the tours have served as a great teaching tool to promote healthy eating with their students. The program has been growing each year with the number of touring locations as well as the amount of participating groups. The overall benefit for the community is that this is a free program available to teach groups how to make sensible food choices. The program also includes pre- and post-tour support materials and a complete lesson plan for teachers. Scouts troops commonly participate in the program as a way to earn badges centered on snacking and healthy eating. Recent Feedback: “I had a blast at our Mystery Tour. I learned so much about what I should be eating to keep myself healthy and tried some new foods that I hadn’t had before. Thank you to the Chief and Inspector, I cannot wait to help my family grocery shop and show them what I have learned.” –Detective Connor “Our group loved the Mystery theme. The Weis tour guides were extremely kid, friendly and fun. This is a fantastic program to promote healthy eating. I have been recommending this program to anyone I encounter. Thank you so very much!”- Michele, Troop Leader, Clarks Summit, PA Quote: “We are proud to offer Weis Mystery Tours™ to children, families and the community as a fun, interactive way to learn about nutrition and family meals. We get a tremendous amount of positive feedback from the families that participate,” said Jonathan Weis, Chairman and CEO.