Last Monday we launched the Healthy Markets Initiative in five local markets. Over the past few months we have been working with each owner to fulfill the requirements to become designated Mass in Motion Healthy Markets, and so we were excited to finally introduce the program to the community, with the support of Mayor Mitchell and all of the store owners.
Many people living throughout New Bedford, including parents and their children, rely on local grocers to provide them with food. Through the Healthy Markets program, we work with each grocer to ensure they are offering and prominently displaying healthy choices. Among the guidelines, grocers must stock some fruits and vegetables, healthy beverage options, and healthy snack options. They are also encouraged to display these healthier items front and center so they can’t be missed by customers.
Many store owners are seeing an increased demand for healthy food options and want to meet that demand. As quoted in the Standard Times’ article covering the launch, Alex Magalhaes of Amaral’s Market said, “we saw benefit in it because it promotes our products and is good for the community.” Alex called the program both a “no brainer” and a “win-win” for his store and the community. You can also read the article that was published in OJornal.
We hope to get several more local grocers to become Healthy Markets in the coming months. Through the support of the MiM Kids Project, funded by the CDC, we are able to provide healthy messaging and promotion to our participating markets, including counter mats, flags, price tags, bins, and a marketing display.