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Healthy Places

Grant Aims To Improve Nutritional Options

Molly Howell, Chautauqua County Health Network healthy retail consultant, with some fresh produce that can be found at the Pronto Mart, located at 708 E. Second St., Jamestown. Along with fresh produce, additional healthy foods are now being stocked at the Pronto Mart through the Chautauqua County Health Network’s Creating Healthy Schools and Communities grant. P-J photo by Dennis Phillips

“My goal is to nudge people. Give them different tips,” is how Molly Howell, Chautauqua County Health Network healthy retail consultant, describes her goal of trying to convince people to eat healthier.

On Tuesday, Howell was joined by Mikayla Certo, Chautauqua County Health Network community project coordinator, and Sarah Gilbert, The Chautauqua Center marketing specialist, at the Pronto Mart, located at 708 E. Second St., to promote the new health food options at the business.

Certo said the initiative is being funded by the Creating Healthy Schools and Communities grant to improve nutritional food options so that all residents can have access to fresh healthy food. The Creating Healthy Schools and Communities grant is a five-year initiative that seeks to improve the health of communities through increased physical activity and nutrition. The initiative funds working with local, independently owned stores, such as Pronto Mart, to stock additional health food options.

“My main goal is to get fresh produce,” Howell said. “People really do come here to shop.”

Howell said she worked for two months prepping the Pronto Mart to add additional nutritional foods. She worked for two months surveying customers and families at the nearby Eastside YMCA, located at 727 E. Second St., to get an idea of what healthy foods people in the local neighborhoods would buy if given the option.

Healthy foods that can now be found at the Pronto Mart because of a state grant that seeks to improve the health of communities through increased physical activity and nutrition. P-J photo by Dennis Phillips

“We’re trying to get the message out there so people know produce is here,” Certo said.

People who visited the Pronto Mart on Tuesday were provided with healthy food demonstration that included samples as well as other information on community agencies trying to increase the community’s knowledge of nutritional foods available in local corner stores.

“Stores like Pronto Mart, with their dedication to serving the local community, are wonderful places to collaborate with” Certo said. “Owner Abdulla Abuhamra has been working closely with healthy retail consultant Molly Howell to select the perfect produce, create an appealing display and plan a wonderful event.”

For more information about the Chautauqua County Health Network and its community projects, visit cchn.net