New labels direct shoppers to healthy food items.

February 18, 2016
healthy labels - 3

HFOC members, left to right, Katie Miller, Meryl Smith, and Kim Lyons set up signs at Cherry Hill Supermarket.

Cherry Hill Supermarket in Shelby and Gale’s IGA in Hart are making strides to help grocery shoppers locate healthier foods, with guidance from the Healthy Families of Oceana County coalition (HFOC).

healthy labels - 2In January, members of the HFOC coalition set-up new shelf labels at Cherry Hill Supermarket that identify healthy foods throughout the grocery store, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, water-packed canned tuna and salmon, and whole grain bread and cereals. Special signs in the produce section help to remind shoppers that, “adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet can help to maintain a healthy weight and prevent a variety of illnesses.” Registered Dietitian, Meryl Smith, provided her expertise by verifying that food products align with the recommendations of the USDA Dietary Guidelines.

The Healthy Families of Oceana County coalition will set up similar shelf labels and signs at Gale’s IGA in Hart Friday, Feb. 19. The group will also provide a healthy cooking demonstration for shoppers, with help from Nutrition Program Instructor for MSU-Extension, Stephanie Ostrenga.

“Cooking demonstrations,” Ostrenga states, “provide an opportunity to sample healthy options available at the store and may give ideas on new ways to incorporate fruits and vegetables into a person’s diet.”

Over the last several months, the HFOC coalition has been working with local stores, as well as area restaurants and Bread of Life Food Pantry, to healthy labels -1help encourage healthier food choices throughout the county. The coalition hopes that these small changes will help to create a healthier community for Oceana County residents.

If you would like more information about this project, contact Katie Miller at (231) 316-8567 or by email at


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