The Healthy Horizons Community Coalition – Obesity Action Team brought together organizations and volunteers throughout Owensboro and Daviess counties to create opportunities for families to access healthier food options within the community. The Green River District Health Department and Daviess County Extension Service were among the group of partners whose involvement was key to the community’s success.
Better Bites is a menu labeling program that uses a kid-friendly blue logo to identify items that have been certified to meet nutrition standards at participating restaurants, cafeterias, and concession stands. The program relies on promotion and brand recognition so that families easily know they are making a healthy choice when they see the Better Bites logo.
Before launching Better Bites, the Green River District Health Department educated the public about healthy lifestyle behaviors through the 5-2-1-0 Healthy Numbers for Kentucky Families. Building on the familiarity of the 5-2-1-0 message, they were able to introduce Better Bites as an opportunity to improve access to “five or more fruits and vegetables every day.”
The coalition was able to market the new program and establish brand recognition within the community through brochures, t-shirts, signage, and local media coverage. Events sponsored by partnering organizations featured cooking demonstrations and sampling opportunities, and provided a fun place for families to learn where to find Better Bites. Within the first month, over 2,275 total items were sold at the three participating venues, including Fisher Park which saw a 36% increase in total concessions sales from the previous year.
By providing mini-grants for the purchase of equipment used to prepare and/or store Better Bites items, the coalition continues to nurture their relationships with community partners and support the implementation and promotion of the Better Bites program.
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Lettuce Celebrate: Healthy Horizons Community Coalition Does Better Bites