June 19, 2022 – St. Croix preteens raced through the Market STX with steady resolve on Sunday for the chance to win cash prizes in a reinvented “Supermarket Sweep” hosted by Cane Bay Cares.  

The scavenger hunt was part of Cares’ first ever “Level Up with Fruits and Veggies” Nutrition Fair, designed to celebrate National Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Month, which lands in June. The fair was also designed to promote project-based learning – a core tenet of its largest sponsor, the Operation Inspire After School initiative run by Cane Bay Cares.  

Project-based learning is an educational approach that emphasizes learning by doing. Thus, the supermarket scavenger hunt challenged the preteens to learn to make healthier food choices by actually doing so.  

Four teams were given a list of nutritious food items to find before a 30-minute timer ran out. They earned the bulk of their points for each correct item in their cart, for making it to a designated checkout line in time, and for maximizing their given budget. 

Level Up with Fruits and Veggies Nutrition Fair participants race through the Market STX during a reinvented 'Supermarket Sweep' scavenger hunt for preteens hosted by Cane Bay Cares.

The first-place winners were Ashayla Coates of the Ricardo Richards Elementary School, Avah David and Tejase David of Lighthouse Kids Corner, and Zaliyah Francis and Cherish Abraham of the St. Croix Seventh-day Adventist School. Each member of the winning team received $100, and second place winners received $50.  

First-place winners of the reinvented Supermarket Sweep scavenger hunt hosted by Cane Bay Cares were Ashayla Coates of the Ricardo Richards Elementary School, Avah David and Tejase David of Lighthouse Kids Corner, and Zaliyah Francis and Cherish Abraham of the St. Croix Seventh-day Adventist School.

After the hunt, all of the food items collected from the teams’ carts were donated to Lutheran Social Services of the Virgin Islands. 

“I just want to say thank you to you guys,” said LSSVI CEO Junia John-Straker, “I’m aware of some of the things that you’ve done, not just Cane Bay Cares, but the partners also. We’ve seen where Mr. Chewning and his family have gotten involved. You guys have supported from the children to seniors to families…so I just want to say thank you.”

Health, fitness, and agriculture professionals also participated in the fair with dynamic presentations that helped the young people explore how nutrition can help them achieve personal goals. They spoke on the best plant-based foods to improve mental health, energy levels, athleticism and concentration.  

Presenters included Virgin Islands Department of Agriculture Commissioner Terrence “Positive” Nelson, Coach Justin C. Smith, Crisis Counselor Addison Griffin and their team from the Lion Haven St. Croix Community Center, Virgin Islands Good Food Coalition Founder Sommer Sibilly Brown, and North Caribbean Conference Health and Children’s Ministries Director Linda Gallo Ambrose. 

Cane Bay Partners Charitable Giving Manager Neisha Christopher-Christian said she was happy to see the children “learning while having fun”. 

“The event was a success, and it went very well for the first year,” she said. “We couldn’t have done it without The Market STX’s support. We appreciate the store’s support in this endeavor.” 

Cane Bay Partners Co-founder Kirk Chewning commented on a great turnout and had a congratulatory message for the winners of the scavenger hunt. 

“We are pleased to see so many community members and children participating in the sweep, and we want to congratulate the winners,” Chewning said. “Thank you to all the volunteers for putting on a great program for our children.” 

James “Jimmy” Whatley, Cane Bay Partners CEO, said it was “wonderful to see so many engaged volunteers, CB employees, community support groups and most importantly parents and kids all getting together on a beautiful island day to learn about healthy nutrition choices.” 

“It was even better to watch a group of kids invest time on a weekend to have fun shopping for items they learned about. The competition was fun to watch,” Whatley added.


About Cane Bay Cares 

Cane Bay Cares is the charitable giving initiative established by Cane Bay Partners VI, LLLP in 2017. The initiative began as a relief effort for U.S. Virgin Islands residents who had experienced the devastating effects of Hurricanes Irma and Maria.   

Since its inception, Cane Bay Cares has partnered with more than 22 agencies, not only to support hurricane recovery but also crime prevention, education, and youth development in the USVI.   

The initiative is now focused on funding and managing its flagship afterschool program, Operation Inspire, to support USVI students seeking educational enrichment. 

Related Coverage

Preteens Compete in “Supermarket Sweep” for Fresh Fruits and Vegetables — Virgin Islands Source

Supermarket Scavenger Hunt Held for Kids on St. Croix — CBS USVI News

Cane Bay Cares “Level Up with Fruits and Veggies” Nutrition Fair — Cane Bay Partners VI, LLLP Youtube