Participants are guided through a supermarket on one of the Smart Shopper Tours in Seaford.

Published on 17 May 2024

Pilot program to support smarter shopping

A new pilot program developed in partnership with Anglicare SA, has helped arm Onkaparinga residents with the knowledge and skills to shop and cook with healthier food at more affordable prices.

Created to tackle rising food insecurity in the region, a series of free Smart Shopper Tours were recently held in Seaford, taking participants on a guided tour of Drakes Supermarket, followed by a recipe development lesson at Seaford Library.

The aim of the two-hour sessions was to strengthen participants meal-planning skills by teaching them how to shop for and cook healthy, simple and affordable snacks and meals; demystify food labels; and shop with the seasons.

The Smart Shopper Tours were a partnership between the City of Onkaparinga, AnglicareSA Communities for Children Onkaparinga, The Green Gourmet, Drakes Seaford and the Rotary Club of Seaford, with hopes for similar initiatives in the future after the initial pilot sessions have been evaluated.

City of Onkaparinga Mayor Moira Were said cost of living was front of mind for many in the community.

“The Smart Shopper Tour pilot program was created in response to the rising cost of living, reduced income and lack of access to good food, which are leading to increased food insecurity,” she said.

“The tours, which were facilitated by The Green Gourmet, focused on nutritional and cost-effective choices to help families improve their eating habits while making their dollars go further.

“Partnering with AnglicareSA Communities for Children was invaluable because it allowed us to target local families who would benefit the most from the program. The support of Drakes and Rotary Club of Seaford ensured a successful pilot program that provided us with plenty of learnings and feedback for next time.”

Janine Carger, AnglicareSA Manager, Children and Families South, said the Smart Shopper Tours were a fantastic initiative at a time when many families are struggling with the cost-of-living crisis.

“Food security, healthy cheap meals, and opportunities for connection in the community for children and their families featured strongly in a community-wide consultation, undertaken by our Communities for Children Onkaparinga team,” Janine said.

“This consultation highlighted a real interest and need within the community for more information and ways to save money in the supermarket.

“Communities for Children reached out to the City of Onkaparinga, which was already working on food security within the community, regarding collaborating on developing a pilot program relevant to and within our own community.”

The Smart Shopper Tour pilot was attended by 20 community members over the four sessions, with an equal split of families with young children and older adults with adult children.

“At each of the sessions, the group was supportive of each other and shared ideas,” Janine said. “They were very engaged, asked lots of questions, and were eager to learn.

“Many of those who attended revealed they had challenges with ‘fussy eaters’ or dietary restrictions and through the program were able to gain many tips and tricks to help them eat healthier, including increasing their intake of vegetables and replacing snack foods with healthier and money-saving options.”

A 2023 household survey on food insecurity in Onkaparinga found 20.8 per cent of respondents are experiencing moderate food insecurity, compromising on quality and/or the quantity of their food. An additional 19.6 per cent of respondents are experiencing severe food insecurity, missing meals and reducing their food intake – some for days at a time.

The survey also found a further 11 per cent feel worried about running out of food.

For more information on initiatives in Onkaparinga that support and promote accessible, affordable and nutritious food, visit the council’s Affordable Onkaparinga webpage.


Participants learning about healthy and affordable food at Drakes Supermarket Seaford, during one of the Smart Shopper Tours.