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Teaching Students to Practice Healthy Shopping on a Budget

In Kansas City, barbeque and banking are two of the oldest and strongest economic engines of the community. So, it seemed only natural when the two came together to create a program that would benefit thousands of children. Thus, UMB Bank and American Royal (host of the largest barbecue contest in the world) created the UMB Market at the American Royal Field Trip.

The UMB Market debuted September 2016 and was designed to teach children the value of money and its relationship to food. The exhibit directly ties together two of UMB’s community involvement emphasis areas—financial education and agriculture. This interactive financial education exhibit simulates shopping and checking out at a grocery store. The activity combines what students have learned about nutrition, limited resources and needing to purchase foods from the five main food groups to maintain a healthy diet while sticking to a budget.

Due to COVID-19, the program went virtual, reaching around 9,065 students across 26 states—even generating international participation. Now existing in online videos, they engage students by explaining the difference between needs and wants while shopping, how to stick to a budget and more.

The UMB Market is a partnership between UMB Bank – a publicly traded company – and the American Royal – one of the city’s largest nonprofit organizations. By combining the experience of both organizations, students, teachers and parents are exposed to agriculture and banking in a unique, engaging and successful way.

For their incredible efforts, UMB Bank has been awarded a 2021 ABA Foundation Community Commitment Award. This award recognizes and promotes the many valuable ways banks of all sizes contribute to economic growth, community development and enhancing the quality of life in their communities—and is a true badge of honor for any bank to earn.

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