The goal was to promote healthy foods after school to share health information with residents and to provide health screening at the store to customers and employees. Tables were setup in front of the store to attract the public to try free, healthier foods offered and a health screening center was located inside the back of the store.
Over 75 samples of fresh mango were offered to customers and EZ Ride used its grant funds to offer heart healthy snack coupons to customers to redeem for free healthy items. Residents were able to choose from a variety of produce: 45 bananas, 26 mangos, 26 oranges, 20 apples and 9 bottles of water.
Hackensack Meridian nurses screened people for blood sugar, blood cholesterol, blood pressure, BMI and stroke risk.
Customers received health, nutrition and other information in Spanish and English. The literature included family success center support programs, healthier recipe cards, how to eat healthy on a budget, lead poisoning awareness and a variety of beneficial topics.
“Coming together is a beginning, keeping together is progress and working together is a success,” said Ericka Uter, program coordinator for Community Affairs and Resource Center.
La Tapatia was excited to be part of this effort to promote healthier eating. In the future, the alliance is hoping that a program called “Eat Healthy, Be Active” will be offered to customers at the store which will include lessons and discussion about how to cook healthier meals and cooking demonstrations.
Partners who collaborated to execute this event included Community Affairs Resource Center, the VNA’s WIC Health Education team, Acelero Preschool, Oceans Family Success Center, Hackensack Meridian Health, Coastal Communities Family Success Center, EZ Ride and funders: the New Jersey Healthy Cornerstore Initiative, the New Jersey Partnership for Healthy Kids and the Food Trust.
EZ Ride has recruited four stores to participate so far and other stores who want to get involved can contact Lisa Lee at email@example.com.