WHO: Mayor Domenic J. Sarno, Springfield’s Director of the Department of Health and Human Services, Helen Caulton-Harris, City Officials and Representatives from Harvard Pilgrim Health
Care, YMCA and Pride Stores
WHAT: Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare Foundation to present grant for Healthy Corner Store Initiative
WHEN: Thursday, August 30, 2012, at 10:30 a.m.
WHERE: Pride Store, 77 West Street, Springfield, MA
Over the next year, the City of Springfield through its Mass in Motion Initiative, will be working with corner stores to increase the amount of healthy food choices in the city. Many areas of the city do not have access to a full-line grocery store, so working to improve healthy options in corner stores is a way to help neighborhoods gain access to healthier food.
The Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation will present Springfield’s Mass in Motion Initiative, administered by Springfield’s Department of Health and Human Services, with a grant for $10,000 to help fund their Healthy Corner Store Initiative. The funds will pay for staff to partner with five stores and help them stock and promote healthier items like fruits and vegetables, low-fat milk, whole grains, and healthy snacks. Mass in Motion is also partnering with the YMCA of Greater Springfield and their ACHIEVE (Action Communities for Health, Innovation and Environmental Change) grant on a healthy corner store pilot initiative with the Pride Store at 77 West Street in the North End of Springfield, where they have held eight nutrition education nights over the past month. The Harvard Pilgrim grant will also fund a marketing campaign identifying the healthy stores in the city, as well as provide a small subsidy to stores to enhance infrastructure and support the sale of farmer’s market produce.
Over the next five years, Mass in Motion, a state-wide initiative funded by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health working to improve access to physical activity and nutrition, will be working to get 20 percent of all Springfield corner stores involved in a healthy corner store program.