Herkimer, NY –   Herkimer County HealthNet (HCHN) is committed to creating opportunities for those residing in Herkimer County to learn more about healthy eating habits.  A new program at HCHN, Healthy Store Initiative, assists store owners in identifying and promoting healthy and fresh food selections.

The goal of the Healthy Store Initiative is to make it easier for families to find and purchase healthy foods by providing stores with Shelf Talker signs, which call a customer’s attention to particular products, as well as display posters that utilize a traffic light concept to identify healthy foods. The Village Meat Market, located in Mohawk, is the first of many local businesses to partner with HCHN in implementing the Healthy Store Options in their store. The initiative aims to help customers choose more fruits, vegetables and whole grains, dietary changes which have been proven to reduce the risk of heart disease, obesity, diabetes, stroke and other chronic diseases.

Kathy Welch & Elyse

Before a business can obtain a HCHN Healthy Store Options designation, staff from Herkimer County Healthnet and Herkimer Cornell Cooperative Extension meet with store owner(s) and conduct a brief store assessment to determine all of the healthy items already present in the store. Following the assessment, the store owner(s) commit to promoting products in their store classified as healthy, chosen from the assessment.  HCHN and Cooperative Extension will then work with the store owner(s) to increase visibility through signage, display and location recommendations.

Development and implementation of the Healthy Store Initiative is supported by Local IMPACT, the NYSDOH program on Initiatives for Multi-Sector Public Health Action. The Local IMPACT initiative supports the statewide goals of improving population health, transforming health care delivery and reducing health disparities. Herkimer County HealthNet partners with HealtheConnections to implement Local IMPACT within Herkimer County.

The mission of the Herkimer County HealthNet is to improve the health and well-being of individuals who live, work, play, and learn in Herkimer County.  Healthy Store Initiative is just one of many programs conducted by HCHN to address population health. For more information or to implement a Healthy Store Initiative program,  contact Elyse Enea, Program Coordinator at Herkimer County HealthNet, 315-867-1552 or


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