Addressing All Four Food Access Categories
A thriving community isn’t complete without a store to buy fresh food. Without a grocery store or corner store, a small town or neighborhood can lose residents, fall into poor health and lose economic stability. A comprehensive approach ensures that communities think about both the supply and demand of fresh food. Explore the four food access categories here:
Choose Healthy Here Across Nebraska
Communities across Nebraska have implemented a number of comprehensive activities using the Choose Healthy Here program. Working with Extension, your community can create a retail enviornment where it's easy to make the healthy choice.Download Our Toolkit
FINDAll people deserve access to all five healthy food groups
The ideal store has:
- Fresh, frozen or canned fruit without added sugar
- Fresh, frozen or canned vegetables without added sauce
- A variety of whole grains such as brown rice, pasta or bread
- Lean protein including plant sources like beans and legumes
- Low-fat dairy such as 1% milk, yogurt and cheeses
Stores prioritizing the findability of healthy foods display them near the front of the store, make them easy to reach, and ensure nutritious foods are easily identified. Finding healthy foods isn’t just up to the retailer. Community leaders and planners should consider the walkability and accessibility of stores to the youth, elderly and disabled residents. Stores along bus routes, compliance with ADA and along walking and bike paths are vital to a thriving community.
AFFORDStores should participate in nutrition programs such as WIC, SNAP, and Double Up Food Bucks
When grocery stores participate in nutrition programs they help keep their community food secure, increase the viability of their business, and bring additional dollars into the local economy. Stores who welcome all customers have increased buying power with food distributors, which means more variety, better quality of perishable foods, and more reasonable prices for the community.
CHOOSEHealthy foods should be promoted and culturally appropriate
Store environments that promote fresh, healthy foods are more appealing to customers and help encourage healthful purchasing. A store that looks fresh and colorful is welcoming and is viewed positively by the community. Customers want to buy from stores that are safe, clean, and attractive. Choose Healthy Here program staff can help stores de-clutter, set displays and put up promotional materials that draw customers to healthy foods.
USECan I prepare it? Stores can support the community in their health goals by providing opportunities to learn new skills and nutrition knowledge.
Spending money on food you have never tried before is risky. Healthy store events, such as food preparation demonstrations, provide customers with the opportunity to try new, healthful foods.
Partnerships between stores, health care professionals and cooking enthusiasts help shoppers increase their knowledge and skills to prepare healthy foods