Communities During the 2016-2017 year, the Community Sector expanded their work with three low income counties: Baldwin (Milledgeville), Washington (Sandersville) and Chatham (Savannah) with a SNAP eligible adult population reach of 67,138. The goals of the Community Initiative are to: (1) increase access to fruits and vegetables at local food outlets, (2) establish common social marketing messages that resonate with residents to influence behavior changes in the community and (3) ultimately increase the purchasing and consumption of fruits and vegetables. HealthMPowers is drawing upon the long history and accomplishments of the Public Health Institute (PHI) Center for Wellness and Nutrition (CWN) with eligible communities, grocery stores, food outlets and farmers’ markets.Working with 14 food retail settings with an average 5,165 customers per month, these improvements were made in the following areas: One quarter of respondents reported now noticing fresh fruits and vegetables for sale. Of those, 60.4% reported purchasing fresh fruits and vegetables from the intervention store in the past three months.Seventy-one percent of residents who recalled at least one social marketing ad also reported purchasing fresh fruits and vegetables at least one time per week.Fifty-seven percent of the retail sites made improvements in layout or display of healthy food items. Our work together will help children and their families make healthier choices. For additional information contact Heather Rice 770.817.1733 We encourage you to click on the community pages to read more about their respective successes.*Baldwin County*Savannah/Chatham County*Washington CountyDid you know?Small food stores are more prevalent in low-income communities.Food insecure populations are commonly challenged with more health, economic and educational risk factors.Increasing the amount of shelf space dedicated to healthy foods can positively impact consumption.Increased knowledge about healthy eating is associated with increased sales of fruits and vegetables. This material was funded by USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program — SNAP. This institution is an equal opportunity provider.In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, religious creed, disability, age, political beliefs, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.