Howland officials approve healthy community store initiative

HOWLAND — Township officials have approved seeking grants for a healthy community store initiative that encourages people of all ages to shop at locally owned stores with access to healthy, affordable foods.

Planning Director Kim Mascarella told trustees last week the Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership and Trumbull County Combined Health District are partners in the initiative, with grant funds available to allow corner stores to make improvements.

She said the Healthy Community Store Initiative encourages a collaboration among government agencies, businesses, institutions and nonprofit organizations around the growth of a reliable and healthy local food system.

“This is all part of the efforts to create healthy communities. It helps identify corner stores and convenient stores in areas that are considered food deserts and getting fresh fruits and vegetables into these corner stores,” Mascarella said.

She said she has been in contact with Christian Bennett Mosley of TNP who identified two stores in Howland — one in the Bolindale area and the other in the Morgandale area.

“The grant funded through the health department helps cover refrigeration, shelving and signage to help the stores with the infrastructure they can use to promote healthy eating. We want to acknowledge that this program helps fulfill the comprehensive community planning goals that we have,” Mascarella said.

Officials said access to healthy foods is important to prevent chronic diseases and obesity in children and adults.

Trustee Matthew Vansuch said the healthy store initiative supports many of the goals in the township’s comprehensive plan and it is being added to it.

Mascarella said the weekend farmers market has been popular throughout the year.

“The farmers market has been around for a very long time. Many small businesses try their products at the market and then gradually go to their own stores and restaurants. The mainstay of the market is food and buying locally. It helps meet the needs of our local residents,” Mascarella said.

From November through May, the farmers market is held the first and third Saturdays inside the Howland SCOPE Center. It is held outdoors at Richard Orwig Park the rest of the year.

Mascarella said this is the 15th year for the farmers market.


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