Wednesday, April 18, 2007

How Grocers are Helping Fight Childhood Obesity

ARA) – These days, too many children are growing up snacking on candy and cookies rather than foods that are good for them like fruits, vegetables and grains. But if America’s grocery stores have anything to do with it, that’s about to change! Area grocers throughout the U.S, from Massachusetts to Idaho, from Minneapolis to San Antonio, from the suburbs of Chicago to Winston-Salem, North Carolina, are encouraging healthy eating habits in their communities.

Realizing they have the ability to make a difference, local grocery stores are partnering with Field Trip Factory to offer free field trips that teach kids how to make smart food choices. It’s good for our communities and our kids.

“The field trips reach a wide cross-section of the youth in our area. These children go home and influence their parents to adopt healthy habits,” says Bob Gumbleton, manager of the Shaw’s Supermarket in Lynn, Mass.

“When we reach the kids and schools in our community, they bring their parents back to buy the healthy products they try during the field trip,” adds Dale Watson, manager of the Albertsons store in Coeur D’Alene, Idaho.

On these hands-on field trips kids get to sample healthy foods, and come away with an understanding of the essential concepts about nutrition and diet, as well as the importance of staying physically active. A little math is worked into it too as kids learn about pricing. The trip is designed with the goal in mind of producing not only healthy kids, but smart kids.

Meijer stores in suburban Chicago, kids learn fundamental concepts about how exercise, balanced meals, and healthy living will positively affect them. Jan Olszowski, store director of the chain’s store in Rolling Meadows, Ill., says the kids always leave smiling.

“In essence, the trips show kids that shopping for groceries at a Meijer store is fun. A lot of the chaperones have commented they have never been here before, and they will now return to shop here for healthier foods in the future,” he says.

Down in Texas, H-E-B stores are also finding that their trip helps build a partnership with kids in the community that goes beyond food. The Be A Healthy Buddy program focuses on making healthy decisions as well as teaching students about careers in the grocery retail business. “It’s important to us to have a positive impact on kids and their health. They are our future shoppers as well as our future employees,” points out Keith Jackson, who manages one of the chain’s San Antonio, Texas store.

At Rainbow Foods stores in Minnesota, stores see the benefit to both students and their families. Carole Fust, store manager for Rainbow Foods in Plymouth says, “We expose students to information that will help them make better nutrition decisions. They go home and share what they’ve learned with their parents and siblings.”

Over 2,000 local grocery stores are now offering this important real-life health lesson. These grocers are making a difference in their communities by encouraging kids to eat healthy today so they can make a difference tomorrow. Rommel Morrison, manager of the Lowes Foods store in Jamestown, N.C., adds, “This program is a valuable asset to the community.”

To learn more about these free, experience-based field trips, log on to www.fieldtripfactory.com and type in your zip code to find out which programs are available in your community. If you don’t have Internet access, call (800) 987-6409 for more information.

Courtesy of ARAcontent

1 comment:

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