Community Commons is proud to be the home of Salud America! Growing Healthy Change; a site dedicated to empowering healthy community change for Latino children locally and across the nation. Inspiring stories and innovative ideas continue to emerge from the Growing Healthy Change site and we are thrilled to be able to share one with you.
Viva La Salud
A California based family-owned chain of Latino grocery stores wanted to help their customers be as healthy as possible. Building on their already successful Viva La Salud Health and Wellness program, their team worked to create bilingual nutrition tags that highlight food products that meet federal nutrition guidelines. The eye-catching tags help shoppers easily identify healthier choices in the store.
“Our communities are hit with obesity and diabetes,” said Victor Gonzales, Senior VP of Marketing at Northgate Gonzalez Market. “Since the beginning we thought, ‘how can we help other than having our produce?'”
As store employee Manuel Nava said, the labels help those who don’t speak English find the healthy foods their doctor recommends. They also assist families in making good choices without having to read difficult labels or be influenced by unhealthy food marketing.
Tools to Help You Make This Change
Asking retailers to implement new programs can be daunting. Having the background knowledge and data to show the benefits of positive changes can help retailers make the healthy choice for their customers.
- Salud America! has a brief that walks you through the steps the Northgate Market went through to start their Viva La Salud program.
- ChangeLab Solutions has done an impressive amount of work to develop strategies and tools for improving the healthy offering in corners stores and grocery markets. Read Surveying the Retail Environment and Giving Businesses the Incentive to Promote Healthy Lifestyles to learn from their experience.
- Food marketing to children is a problem for families trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle. The Center for Science in the Public Interest has long maintained that Food Marketing to Kids Must Stop and grocery stores can help by making healthier choices more attractive.
Maps like the one above can highlight where healthy food may not be easily accessible to low-income families. Healthy food tags can highlight what good choices are available in a market and increase awareness for retailers to add more options. Indicator reports offer an excellent opportunity to look at factors that affect the health of your region. Create a Community Health Needs Assessment Full Indicator report by simply entering your state and county (or several counties) and the data automatically populates for you.
From there you can explore information such as demographics, social and economic factors, and health behaviors and outcomes. The data and visual graphics are downloadable and can be put into your presentations or grant applications. The reports page also generates custom maps for your areas of interest. You can click on the maps to zoom in or out and to add more data layers.
Unsure about how to use the tools highlighted above? Our support page has short videos and how-to exercises to get you stated. We also have a number of recorded webinars, including A Nonprofit Resource for Making Your Case, to give you a step-by-step tutorial on using the Commons.
Learn more about this Salud America! success story. Enjoy our other Salud Hero features, “Roll Models” Ride for Fitness, Health Clinic Opens a Farmers Market, and Healthier Concession Stands at Schools. Then become a Salud Hero yourself by joining the Growing Healthy Change group. This is why we created Community Commons — to help you use the latest technology and tools to make lasting change. Share your stories and strategies so that we can collaborate, learn, and make change together.