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WESTBOROUGH, Mass. — Cumberland Farms Inc. is the latest convenience store retailer to amp up its commitment to healthier food options.
The c-store operator unveiled its inaugural three-year partnership with the nonprofit Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) at the organization’s annual summit in Washington, D.C., last week. The multi-part commitment is aimed at promoting healthier food options in the states where Cumberland Farms operates.
"With this commitment to PHA, we're taking another step toward the future of the Cumberland Farms brand, and our renewed emphasis on fresh food," said Cumberland Farms CEO Ari Haseotes. "Our vision is to be the clear choice for our on-the-go customers, including an increasing number who want the option of healthier meals to bring home and better-for-you snacks for the road."
Over the next three years, Cumberland Farms has committed to:
1. Emphasizing the selection of healthier foods sold in its stores through signage, new products and revised store layouts.
2. Encouraging team members to incorporate healthier foods into their diets through exclusive everyday discounts and nearly 40,000 employee coupons every month.
3. Supporting communities by making healthier foods more universally accessible through competitive pricing, continued Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program participation, and more than 100,000-pounds of food donations every year.
4. Leveraging its private label products to promote healthier foods through PHA’s “Drink Up” initiative and its “Healthier Food” ingredient and recipe guidelines.
According PHA President and CEO Lawrence Soler, PHA will support Cumberland Farms in the implementation of its commitment, as well as provide independent third-party verification of the stores' progress each year.
More than 70 percent of Cumberland Farms stores are located in food deserts, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture definition for communities that are underserved by supermarkets and other traditional grocery sources.
"Across the country, but especially in food deserts, modern convenience stores are providing essential access to nutrition for American families," Soler stated, adding that the new Cumberland Farms commitment "will help ensure that healthier foods are an easy and affordable choice for millions of customers, from all walks of life."
Headquartered in Westborough, Cumberland Farms operates more than 600 convenience stores across eight states. It is the largest convenience store chain in the country to commit to promoting PHA’s mission.