The Shaping Red Bank bodega project is funded through RWJF Partnership for Healthy Kids. It is our original Shaping NJ project and began almost 2 years ago. Our objective is to encourage shoppers to purchase healthier choices with our “Healthy Pick” program. Bright yellow Healthy Pick stickers in English and Spanish are used to label nutritionally superior choices. For example, canned black beans could be labelled healthy, but not refried beans.
Our bodega liaison staff person works with the store owner and staff to ensure they understand the objective, and store clerks insert Healthy Pick bag stuffers into each purchase. These bag stuffers are nutrition tips (English on one side and Spanish on the other). So far, the project is ongoing in 5 stores. Nutrition education has also been provided in Spanish at the local Red Bank library by the staff person. We have printed a Spanish foods cookbook developed by the California Department of Public Health (in Spanish) and a healthy soul food cookbook in English. The former has been provided to each bodega and the latter will be provided to our partner, Pilgrim Baptist Church’s wellness director, in Red Bank.