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Chelsea Wellness Coalition launches healthy grocery initiative

Local grocery stores were recently invited to participate in a Healthy Grocery Initiative designed by the Eat Better Subcommittee of the Chelsea Wellness Coalition funded by the Chelsea Area Wellness Foundation.

The group took its first step in implementing a grocery initiative the week of Oct 15, and more than 40 people, including local business owners, representatives from local hospitals and health systems, professional dietitians, interns and students attended a seminar on the topic.

As part of the seminar titled “Promoting Health While Increasing Your Bottom Line,” Jennifer Wood, a consultant, visited local grocery and convenience stores to discuss the topic as it applied to the participating businesses.

Denise Burnette who owns The Point at Cavanaugh Lake with her husband, Steve Burnette, said in a press release that she was glad she took the time to go to the seminar.

“I enjoyed it. Jennifer Wood knows her stuff,” she said. “The information she presented gave me ideas that I think would work. Being new in the business, I’m willing to try things, to put the ideas in play.”

Also taking part from Chelsea in the seminar were Polly’s Country Market and the New Chelsea Market. These businesses will receive a letter with recommendations on how to help shoppers identify the smart food choices available in their stores.

Francisca Fernandez, co-owner of New Chelsea Market, said in a press release that “Jennifer’s input gave us a perspective on national food trends and validation of our focus on specialty items such as gluten free, vegan and organic.

“She was also quite strategic in combining winning sales strategies such as tastings, recipes and cooking demonstration with great customer service,” Fernandez said, adding, “It fits great with our philosophy of providing nutritious and delicious foods at a fair price for Chelsea and surrounding areas.”

Through February, members of the Chelsea Wellness Coalition’s Eat Better Subcommittee will be planning next steps for their initiatives, including the Healthy Grocery Initiative.

They are eager to hear from interested community members who want to join the subcommittee or have comments and suggestions.

Readers who would like to provide input for the initiative or volunteer are asked to contact the Chelsea Area Wellness Foundation by email at [email protected] or by phone at 433-4599.

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