Healthy Foods in Schools and workplaces
This is a well done article. Don’t you think it is time for healthy foods to be introduced into schools? All the research shows less problems and better test scores…who wouldn’t want that?
I am all for better foods everywhere and why not in the workplace?
Food in Schools and Workplaces
by Gina Crandell – January 6th, 2010.
Since obesity alone threatens to overwhelm the healthcare system, The Full Yield delivers healthy food to the workplace, Nest Collective and Revolution Foods deliver nutritious meals to underserved schools while Safeway rewards employee’s improvements in health measures.
Melanie Warner of the New York Times reported on the relationship between rising health care costs and the food we eat. Without irony, she reports that the CEO of the third largest grocery in the US, Safeway, became really interested in food in 2005 when the company’s health care costs reached above $1 billion per year. Well, if not food directly, then he did become interested obesity. Since health insurance is the fastest-growing single corporate expense, a majority of large companies have developed wellness programs to reduce health care costs. Few have been successful but Safeway has leveled its health care costs since 2005 when costs have been rising by 10% per year. The company’s voluntary Health Measures plan checks employee’s weight, blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and whether they smoke. Improvements are rewarded with reductions in payroll contributions to health care coverage, for individuals up to almost $800 a year. But how to deliver food that reduces obesity is the compelling question, since, as Warner points out, obesity alone threatens to overwhelm the health care system.
For the workplace, Warner reports on The Full Yield, a start-up in Boston partnering with health plans, employers, food retailers, and food manufacturers to help employees and shoppers eat healthier food through education, a comprehensive wellness program, and by selling whole, nutrient-rich, freshly prepared foods and snacks at participating grocery stores and in workplace cafeterias. By the middle of next year they hope to explore opportunities to promote local producers/farmers within their brand and with their retail partners. Wouldn’t it be great if Slow Money could fund the infrastructure of sustainable food networks that operate between food in the workplace and farmers?
For underserved public schools, Nest Collective and Revolution Foods deliver tasty and nutritious meals and nutrition education. Founded in 2007, Nest acquires small companies focused on improving family and kids’ health and is now working in California, Colorado, and Washington, D.C. Nest makes products for the lunch box while Revolution Foods’ food-service business services the lunch line. Both provide healthy, “yummy,” sustainable food and each company’s services are important because about 50% of the kids bring their lunch to school. Nest gives 3 percent of net sales of the consumer food products back into the school service program, or about $100,000 this year, said CEO Sheryl O’Loughlin.
There upshot is that there are multiple places and organizations that are resources for healthier foods in public places. USE THEM and get something done!