Healthy Corner Stores: Successful Models for Increasing Healthy Food Access

Healthy Corner Stores: Successful Models for Increasing Healthy Food Access

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 9 Research & Practice Innovations: Novel Food and Eating Initiatives Healthy Eating with Local Produce (HELP) - A Curriculum to Trai...

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Research & Practice Innovations: Novel Food and Eating Initiatives Healthy Eating with Local Produce (HELP) - A Curriculum to Train Students in Culinary Arts in Support of Farm-to-School Initiatives Author(s): M. Mattfeldt-Beman, S. Jenkins, W. Kline; Nutrition and Dietetics, Saint Louis University, St. Louis, MO Learning Outcome: Develop a program to engage students in food preparation that supports incorporation of local food in school lunch programs. The purpose was to train high school students in culinary arts, food processing, and entrepreneurship for use during the school year to incorporate local produce into school lunches. Increased labor is one of the primary limitations in farm to school programs since this produce requires more cleaning and processing than commercially available products. Given the limited budgets of schools, a novel solution is needed to incorporate more local produce into school lunches. The HELP grant developed training for high school students. In a summer program, students conceive, cost, and prepare foods for a farmers’ market, pick produce at local farms, receive training and experience in processing, and learn cooking techniques. Following this training, seven students have been hired to work in their school’s kitchens as an afternoon job. Students process foods, prepare baked goods, and make cheese and yogurt. This student labor supports farm to school initiatives feeding over 2000 students. This effort has sparked interest in culinary arts and nutrition, prompting the school to initiate a culinary and nutrition club. The program is being expanded to 15 students representing three different districts. The model curriculum can be used to assist others in initiating training for high school students to support farm to school initiatives. The curriculum is comprised of separate but related modules focusing on culinary skills, entrepreneurship, and food processing/sustainable food systems that can be adapted to the needs of individual schools.

Access to Sustainable Foods: How Grocery Stores Differ Author(s): M. Seidel, T. Yoder; Food Studies, Chatham University, Pittsburgh, PA Learning Outcome: The learner will identify attributes of sustainable foods and suggest actions that may increase their availability in grocery stores frequented by lower income shoppers. Do all consumers have the ability to choose a “sustainable diet?” According to Joan Gussow and Kate Clancy, a sustainable diet is composed of foods chosen for their contribution not only to health, but also to the sustainability (the capability of maintenance into the foreseeable future) of the US agricultural [food] system. Jennifer Wilkins, et al, more recently coined the term civic dietetics to encourage dietitians to guide their clientele in making food choices that promote human health while also positively impacting the environment, local economy and social justice. Moreover, interest in exploring food system options is on the rise for many consumers and institutions due to well-publicized food safety issues and rising fuel prices. But, do all have equal access to sustainable choices? Students from the School of Sustainability and the Environment’s Masters of Arts in Food Studies program at Chatham University (Pittsburgh) established food sustainability criteria and then visited a variety of markets seeking four sustainable foods in each of the five food groups. Some markets offered almost no sustainable options while others offered an overwhelming and sometimes confusing number of choices. As was predicted, retail markets located in low income neighborhoods, or ones structured to attract people shopping for the lowest cost food, had the least selection. However, some price differentials and options were surprising. Brief discussions with store management defined challenges to increasing sustainable foods in low cost supermarkets. Results of this informal survey as well as implications for the dietitian will be discussed.

Funding Disclosure: Missouri Foundation for Health - Healthy and Active Community Grant

Funding Disclosure: None

Healthy Corner Stores: Successful Models for Increasing Healthy Food Access

Development of Garden-Enhanced Nutrition Education Initiatives to Support School Wellness & Academics

Author(s): S. Solomon,1 G. Mallya,1 J. Aquilante,1 B. Almaguer Sandoval,2 A. Karpyn2; 1Philadelphia Department of Public Health, Philadelphia, PA, 2The Food Trust, Philadelphia, PA Learning Outcome: Define key strategies for successful implementation of a healthy corner store initiative. In communities lacking supermarkets, families depend on corner stores for food purchases, yet most of these stores have few healthy options. The Philadelphia Department of Public Health partnered with The Food Trust, a non-profit organization, to implement the Healthy Corner Store Initiative (HCSI). Through a process of mapping, outreach, and marketing, stores in high-need, low-access neighborhoods were enrolled in the program. Stores progress from a level of basic change in which they introduce four new healthy products and implement a Healthy Food Identification marketing campaign_to participation in business management training. A subset of stores receives mini-conversions which include shelving and refrigeration. To help storeowners procure healthy foods, innovative partnerships with local food distributors were developed. The HCSI has enrolled over 600 stores into the network, dramatically changing the food retail landscape. Evaluation of the HCSI is ongoing. Based on data collected during intervention visits, 83% of stores have introduced at least four new healthy products and the healthy food marketing campaign, and 86% have received at least one training session to help procure, market or sell healthy foods. One major distributor, Jetro, agreed to carry more healthy products and use in-store signage to identify healthy food options for storeowners. The HCSI is among the largest corner store initiatives in the country. Early experience demonstrates that such an intervention can be implemented at scale through partnerships between non-profits, government, retailers, and wholesalers. Assessment of in-store environmental and purchasing changes will measure the effectiveness of such a model. Funding Disclosure: CDC grant

Author(s): L. J. Hughes,1 C. WuJung,2 L. Savoca,1 S. Cirignano,1 A. Grenci,3 K. Morgan2; 1Dept. of Family & Community Health Sciences, Rutgers Cooperative Extension, Clayton, NJ, 2Dept. of Family & Community Health Sciences, Rutgers Cooperative Extension, New Brunswick, NJ, 3Dept. of Family & Community Health Sciences, Rutgers Cooperative Extension, Flemington, NJ Learning Outcome: Participants will be able to list 3 strategies schools can use to develop garden-enhanced nutrition programs; explain how school gardens are tools for nutrition education; discuss successes/challenges that garden-enhanced nutrition education projects. Grow Healthy, a new program that combines gardening with nutrition, physical activity, agriculture, and locally grown food projects, was introduced in nine NJ counties. Designed as a fun, hands-on initiative that supports New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards, Grow Healthy is a wellness program that involves school teachers, staff and administration, children, families, and volunteers who all work together to make school a healthier place. There are nutrition lessons in the classroom, school and family fitness events, foodservice trainings, wellness council support, and school gardens – all of which build healthier kids and families. Recognizing that schools are ideal environments to foster healthy lifelong behaviors, Grow Healthy applies the Social Ecological Model to incorporate nutrition education and physical activity in elementary schools through garden-focused lessons and activities - with an aim to promote overall wellness in children. A variety of tools are in use to evaluate various components of the project, including: student and family pre/post tests to assess changes in nutrition, local food systems and fruit/vegetable consumption; and student taste-test pre/post tests to evaluate willingness to try to new fruits/vegetables. This session reviews the successes/challenges of developing/implementing Grow Healthy. Presenters will discuss techniques, processes, strategies, tools, ideas and evaluation methods used to develop/implement a statewide gardening and nutrition education initiative for elementary schools (K-6). We will present success stories and lessons learned - to help all nutrition educators who desire to combine gardening, nutrition and local food systems into an educational outreach model for the elementary school environment. Funding Disclosure: USDA Team Nutrition Training Grant

September 2012 Suppl 3—Abstracts Volume 112 Number 9