Northgate Gonzalez Market has been hosting annual healthy store tours with elementary schools in springtime since 2011 for national nutrition month. The events have brought thousands of students, teachers and parent volunteers to enjoy an hour inside our stores. Focused on “My Plate” the tour focuses on rotate the students between 5 stations throughout the store that include a produce bingo, sampling healthy snack yoga station, healthy goodie bags to take home for all.
Northgate had to cancel in-person healthy store tours in 2020 due to pandemic. With more time to plan this year Northgate partnered with Avocados From Mexico to create a virtual healthy store tour and a bilingual nutrition focused coloring book for teachers to incorporate as part of their lesson plan with students.
Northgate reached out to teachers they had partnered with in past for in-person store tours. If teachers agreed to accept coloring books and video for classroom the teachers were rewarded a Northgate gift card. When teachers gave feedback and shared photos of how they shared video and coloring book with students, they earned additional gift cards to award to students and or help for student families suffering from food insecurity. Northgate ended up signing up over 100 teachers and providing over $5,000 in gift cards to teacher and students.
The virtual healthy store tour video’s spokesperson was Evelyn Gonzalez, Northgate Gonzalez Market very own RDN. She made it fun to learn nutritional facts about avocados and my plate. The coloring book was full of fun activities for the students to engaged and learn healthy habits at the same time.
Northgate did an innovative spin off from Dia De Los Muertos store tour virtual video and coloring book made in 2020 with virtual store tour and coloring book for national nutrition month for elementary students. Worked with graphic designers in the educational creative of the coloring book. Created the script for video along with Avocados From Mexico. Worked with Avocados from Mexico team on meeting all branding needs from both organizations. Video met all educational standards in a fun way, even some Northgate associates danced with Evelyn to show importance to be physically active. Made arrangements to get over 3,000 coloring books to over 100 teachers in Los Angeles, San Diego, Riverside and Orange County’s. Teachers are looking for new ways to teach students in class. They saw this program align with their efforts in educating on nutrition. Donated over $5,000 to teachers and students in Northgate gift cards for their participation in the virtual experience of healthy store tours.
Northgate was innovative in bringing healthy virtual store tour and coloring books as lesson plans teachers could use with students virtually from students’ homes and or in classroom. Northgate asked teachers to be creative on using the virtual tour and coloring books. We saw some students become artist, create their own my plates, took apart an avocado and put seed in water to grow in class, completed the lifecycle of an avocado and a 4th grade class even created their own student videos at home teaching how to make guacamole. Our goals overall were met with students becoming creative in how they learned about shopping healthy at Northgate Market. Make sure the teachers and students know Northgate didn’t forget about our annual store tours with their schools. Our associates miss having the students in-person for healthy store tours too.
Overall the students enjoyed the nutrition project and teachers were grateful they participated. We had commitment from over 100 teacher participation in using Northgate’s virtual healthy store tour video and over 3,000 coloring books. Participation rate was more than doubled than what was expected from teachers. The teachers and administration appreciated our efforts and welcome additional programs in the near future. Coloring book and video met the educational goal of teaching students virtually how to shop healthy at their local Northgate. The feedback and many photos shared by teachers showed the ways their classrooms worked with the resources we provided them. The back page of the coloring book provided two coupons to be used at Northgate, buy 1 avocado and get 1 avocado for free was a success. Our continued partnerships focused on nutrition education is helping make a difference in the health and wellbeing of students who live in our communities we serve, even during these difficult times.
Quote from Miguel Gonzalez
“We at Northgate Gonzalez Markets are proud to have partnered with Avocados from Mexico during National Nutrition Month to advance the goal of promoting healthy nutrition and eating for our customers and their families,” said Miguel Gonzalez, co-president, Northgate Gonzalez Market. “Our efforts in developing coloring books for children and a virtual partnership with more than 100 elementary school teachers was paramount to the success of the program. In the end we believe we made a difference in how families approach and adopt healthy eating lifestyles.”
“Northgate Markets never ceases to amaze in their on-going efforts to support their customers and the community. This past year has been especially challenging for many, and it’s no surprise that Northgate Markets found ways to go above and beyond to help local schools. It was a delight to work with them in creating much-needed educational resources for teachers and students in promoting health & well-being.” Barbara Ruhs, Registered Dietitian/Retail Health Strategy, Avocados From Mexico “We learned about the 5 food groups and then the kids created a paper plate with each food group to create balanced meals. We used the coloring books to learn the food groups. Thank you.” Lori Lopas, First Grade Teacher