May 15, 2018
Bringing healthy eats to a corner store near you
An understated display of fruits and vegetables sandwiched in their original cardboard shipping boxes used to suffice as the Amigo’s Market produce department at 2102 Q Street.
Now, thanks to Douglas County Health Department’s Healthy Neighborhood Stores program, Amigo’s is upping its game.
Through the program, Douglas County Health Department and its partners work with select corner markets and grocery stores to introduce affordable, fresh foods into customer diets and to support community health through education.
Sara Jensen, a registered dietician and WIC nutritionist, recently recruited Amigo’s as the 13th Healthy Neighborhood Store after noticing the market’s potential to improve and increase its healthy food selection.
By providing Amigo’s with plastic bins for its produce and customized shelf talkers and price tags, Jensen is already helping Amigo’s take meaningful steps toward putting more nutritious foods into the hands of families it serves.
“I hope store owners gain some knowledge through the program on how they can promote healthy items and extend the life of produce,” Jensen said.
Each Healthy Neighborhood Store ranges in size from three to 45 employees, reaching more than 50,000 low-income Douglas County residents. As a result of these efforts, the program has improved sales of healthy items in the stores, while changing customers’ perceptions toward neighborhood store food offerings and encouraging healthy eating habits.
“One store has really taken off with it and doesn’t hardly need me anymore,” Jensen said. “They recently were able to grow their store by three bays, and that’s been exciting to see.”
For more information and to view the complete list of Healthy Neighborhood Stores, visit https://behealthydouglascounty.org/about-us/