When restaurants, grocery stores, convenience stores, vending machines, mobile vending, and farmers' markets increase availability, visibility, and affordability of healthy foods and beverages, they make the healthy choice the easy choice. Research shows that behavior change is more likely to last when people and their communities make similar changes.
Featured New Hampshire Project
The Manchester Healthy Corner Stores Project brings healthier foods and nutrition information to small markets and convenience stores throughout New Hampshire's Queen City. The pilot project, organized by the City of Manchester Health Department, started with four small markets in Manchester's eastside, center city with plans to expand to other markets in the near future. The project is supported with funding from the HNH Foundation and the National Convergence Partnership. Watch this video to learn more. Pilot project components for participating stores included:
- Fresh produce is more available and affordable
- Signs identify and promote healthier food choices
- Taste tests and nutrition education are provided by a registered dietitian
- Free advice from a professional grocery consultant was offered
- Store improvements were made, such as murals and racks for healthy foods
- Customer survey was administered
Healthy Food Outlet Resources
- Good Laws, Good Food: Putting Local Food Policy to Work for Our Communities takes a comprehensive look at local food policy and its relationship to state and federal regulations. It defines terminology and explains the "why and how" of local food policy, and the impact on grocery stores, convenience stores, farmers' markets, restaurants, vending machines, and mobile vending.
- Healthy Recipes and Cooking includes the "Fruit and Veggie Quantity Cookbook" with recipes for 25, 50, and 100 servings.
- The Healthy Stores project aims to improve health and prevent obesity and disease in communities to increase access to and purchase of healthy foods.
- Rural Grocery Initiative addresses ways to maintain, improve, and restore retail food stores for rural communities.
- Smart Meal Seal™ is a practice-tested intervention designed to encourage the availability of healthier menu options in restaurants through point-of-purchase labeling, outreach, and education.
- USDA's Food Environment Atlas is a rich source of county-level data related to a community's ability to access healthy food including obesity rates; utilization of USDA programs (e.g. SNAP (Food Stamps) WIC, Free and Reduced Lunch, etc.); number of food outlets (convenience stores, restaurants, super centers, etc.)
- Winner's Circle Healthy Dining is a North Carolina partnership with local communities, restaurants, schools and food industry that makes it easier to identify healthy foods when eating out. The program promotes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, calcium-rich foods, while limiting fat, sodium, and sugars.
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