Healthy Tupelo program recognized

lifestyle_healthnewsBy Michaela Gibson Morris

Daily Journal

TUPELO – Tupelo’s Health on a Shelf has gotten noticed by the big leagues.

The program created by the Healthy Tupelo task force in 2011 was highlighted in a research brief put out last month by the National League of Cities Sustainable Cities Institute.

“It’s an affirmation,” of the partnership between the task force, businesses and the community to foster a healthy culture in Tupelo, said Donna Loden, task force co-chairwoman.

The other healthy corner store programs highlighted in the report hailed from St. Louis, Minneapolis and Philadelphia, Pa.

“Each of these cities is taking action to increase access to healthy and affordable food in their communities,” the report said.

Health on a Shelf, which was created with grant money from the BlueCross BlueShield Foundation, helps participating convenience stores bring healthy snacks and drink options together in one place. They get a special guitar-shaped logo and recognition for the stores.

“It’s nice for Mississippi to be a part of the national conversation about the healthiest ideas instead of the unhealthiest outcomes,” said former Tupelo Mayor Jack Reed, who was part of the program’s roll-out.

Current Tupelo Mayor Jason Shelton has continued the effort with programs like the Tupelo FIT events, Loden said.

“He has encouraged the work for a healthier Tupelo,” she said.

So far, 10 stores are part of the Health on a Shelf program in Tupelo, and two other cities are working to implement the program.

The task force is still working to refine the Health on a Shelf program so more convenience stores can participate, Loden said.

michaela.morris@journalinc.com