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ALTOONA, Pa. – Sheetz Inc. made a two-year commitment to the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) to deliver more nutritious options at its 475 convenience stores.
Joining PHA, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that is devoted to working with the private sector to solve the childhood obesity crisis in the United States, means that Sheetz has committed to maintain and build upon healthy food choices; continue to make those choices more affordable; and support healthier options through in-store marketing and promotions to meet the needs of the children, families and communities it serves, according to the announcement.
"Every day, people across the country struggle to find access to healthier foods. Sheetz is helping change that, proving that convenience can also mean healthy," stated PHA CEO Lawrence Soler. "We're proud that Sheetz is joining PHA to help get us closer to our goal to build a healthier nation and solve the childhood obesity crisis."
Sheetz will work with PHA to expand its healthier food offerings over the next two years with fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, healthier packaged foods and healthier made-to-order foods. It will also offer a minimum number of kids' meals that meat nutritional standards, focus on in-store promotion of healthier products and engage in other tactics designed to make the healthy choice the easy choice.
"Sheetz strives to meet the needs of our customers, and providing healthy choices has been an ongoing commitment for us," said Sheetz CEO Joe Sheetz. "We have seen the need in the communities we serve for healthy options and we are proud to continue to be a part of the solution. We are excited to be a PHA partner and encourage others to join in the effort."
By October 2016, Sheetz is committing specifically to offer healthier foods, including:
- Fresh Fruits and Vegetables – A combined minimum of eight categories of fruits and/or vegetables
- Whole Grains - A minimum of four whole grain products
- Nonfat and Low-fat Dairy Products - A minimum of four nonfat and low-fat dairy products
- Packaged Food - A minimum of 15 packaged food products that meet PHA's definition of healthier food or beverage products
- 'Made To Order' - A minimum of 10 'Made to Order' items that meet PHA's definition of a healthier recipe
- Sheetz Healthy Kids Combo Meals - A minimum of two meals that meet PHA nutrient profiles for kids' meals
Sheetz will also increase affordability of healthier foods by pricing healthier packaged food and beverage products less than or equal to comparable items in the store; pricing healthier 'Made To Order' items less than or equal to other available 'Made To Order' items in the store; and pricing Sheetz Healthy Kids Combo Meals less than or equal to other available kids combo meals or items in meal sold separately.
Ways Sheetz will market and promote healthier products include:
- New Sheetz stores will display a minimum of 10 healthier product offerings within three feet of the cash register.
- A minimum of 10 healthier foods and beverages will be displayed on each of the following: in-store order boards, in-store menus and website.
- A nutrition calculator on the Sheetz website will provide nutrition information, including calories.
Nearly 1,000 convenience stores have committed to work with PHA to increase access to healthier foods in their stores.
"We are proud that our industry is playing a leadership role in not only improving access to fresh food and healthy options, but in supporting community programs that focus on activity and healthier lifestyles," said NACS President and CEO Henry Armour. "It's a great model for how our members can engage in the area of nutrition and healthy options in the communities they serve."
Altoona-based Sheetz owns and operates c-stores in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Maryland, Virginia, Ohio and North Carolina.