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.
Choose Healthy Here activities fall into all four food access categories addressing both the supply and demand of nutritious foods.
Does your store stock healthy foods?Explore
How does your store and community stack up to neighboring areas?Explore
Does your store promote and highlight foods that you want to eat?Explore
How can your store and community health professionals work together?Explore
Choose Healthy Here’s comprehensive approach ensures that communities think about both the supply and demand of fresh food. This creates a retail environment is one where it is easier to make healthy choices than unhealthy ones.
Can consumers find healthy foods or are they in the back of the store?
Are healthy foods labeled or called attention to so they are easier to find?
Are neighbors able to get to a store with healthy options?
All 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.
Is your store enrolled to accept SNAP and WIC benefits?
Is the store eligible to be a Double Up Food Bucks site?
Are qualified neighbors enrolled in SNAP and/or WIC?
Is the store able to buy in bulk from a larger distributor, allowing for lower unit prices?
A healthy food environment is well patronized.
Stores can count on their neighbors to buy healthy items so they can purchase more variety from their distributors.
- Participation in nutrition programs contributes to the affordability of healthy foods by your neighbors and increases buying power of the store, contributing to a better local economy.
- Higher purchases from the store allows the distributor to deliver more often, improving the quality of perishable foods.
Have you told your store what you want to buy there?
Are healthy foods promoted through signage and prominent placement?
Are healthy foods stored and displayed in a way that makes them attractive?
Store environments that promote fresh, healthy foods are more appealing to the eye and help encourage healthy choices.
- Stores that promote fresh, healthy foods create excitement and promote healthy habits which help to contribute to their sustainability.
- Store environments that are clean, open, and well lit are more attractive to the community.
Is there an opportunity to provide nutrition education in the store?
Will it be helpful to allow tastes of lesser known healthy items?
Are there community resources like Extension, public health or clinic that can provide recipes and cooking demonstrations?
Healthy store events such as food preparation demonstrations provide customers with the opportunity to try new, healthful foods while also increasing their demand.
- Neighbors can work together to share resources and knowledge about healthy living and the wonderful, fresh food they’ve purchased.
- Local partners can provide you with recipes that are simple and tasty to further support the store and promote healthy foods.