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Program To Put Healthy Foods In Reach Of Convenience Store Shoppers

As part of a statewide effort to combat obesity, one western Massachusetts city has launched a pilot program to get healthier foods on the shelves of convenience stores.   WAMC’s Paul Tuthill reports.

   The city of Springfield’s health department is working with five stores, located in inner city neighborhoods, to help them stock and promote  fruits and vegetables, low fat milk, whole grain breads and healthy snacks.  The Healthy Corner Store Initative is funded with $10,000 from Harvard Pilgrim HealthCare. Kate McEvoy-Zdonczyk of Harvard Pilgrim says the program is tailored to  “ grab and go” shoppers.

   Officials hope to expand the program to 20 percent of the convenience stores in Springfield over the next five years with help from the state’s Mass In Motion Initative..a campaign targeting obesity

Paul Tuthill is WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief. He’s been covering news, everything from politics and government corruption to natural disasters and the arts, in western Massachusetts since 2007. Before joining WAMC, Paul was a reporter and anchor at WRKO in Boston. He was news director for more than a decade at WTAG in Worcester. Paul has won more than two dozen Associated Press Broadcast Awards. He won an Edward R. Murrow award for reporting on veterans’ healthcare for WAMC in 2011. Born and raised in western New York, Paul did his first radio reporting while he was a student at the University of Rochester.