Herkimer County HealthNet offers Healthy Store Initiative

March 27th, 2017 — ( timestelegram.com )

HERKIMER — Herkimer County HealthNet is committed to creating opportunities for Herkimer County residents to learn more about healthy eating habits.

A new program, Healthy Store Initiative, assists store owners in identifying and promoting healthy and fresh food selections.

The goal of the Healthy Store Initiative is to make it easier for families to find and purchase healthy foods by providing stores with Shelf Talker signs, which call a customer’s attention to particular products, as well as display posters that utilize a traffic light concept to identify healthy foods, according to a news release.

The Village Meat Market in Mohawk is the first of many local businesses to partner with HealthNet in implementing the Healthy Store Options program in their store.

The initiative aims to help customers choose more fruits, vegetables and whole grains, and make dietary changes that have been proven to reduce the risk of heart disease, obesity, diabetes, stroke and other chronic diseases, according to the release.

Before a business can obtain a Healthy Store Options designation, staff from Herkimer County Healthnet and Herkimer Cornell Cooperative Extension meet with store owner and conduct a store assessment to determine all of the healthy items already present in the store. After the assessment, the store owner commits to promoting products in their store classified as healthy, chosen from the assessment. HealthNet and Cooperative Extension will work with the store owner to increase visibility through signage, display and location recommendations.

Development and implementation of the Healthy Store Initiative is supported by Local IMPACT, the state Department of Health program on Initiatives for Multi-Sector Public Health Action. The Local IMPACT initiative supports the statewide goals of improving population health, transforming health care delivery and reducing health disparities. HealthNet partners with HealtheConnections to implement Local IMPACT within Herkimer County.

The mission of the Herkimer County HealthNet is to improve the health and well-being of individuals who live, work, play and learn in Herkimer County. The Healthy Store Initiative is just one of many programs conducted by HealthNet to address population health.

For more information or to implement a Healthy Store Initiative program, contact Elyse Enea, program coordinator at Herkimer County HealthNet, at 315-867-1552 or eenea@herkimercounty.org.