Health Food Retail Recognition Program selected

The Healthy Food Retail Recognition Program in Dodge, Saunders and Washington County — Choose Healthy Here — has been selected as one of 50 members of the HealthyCommunity50 in the Healthiest Cities & Counties Challenge to receive a $10,000 Community Seed Award.

By participating in the Challenge, the Nebraska Extension office in Dodge County is in the running to receive additional funds that would support its local program.

The HealthyCommunity50 were chosen based on plans to improve the health of their communities in at least one of five domains: healthy behaviors, community safety, built environment, social/economic factors and environmental exposures.

“I feel so honored to help facilitate better access for low income families to convenient, affordable and healthful food options in the district counties of Dodge, Saunders and Washington County,” said Katherine Kneifl, an extension assistant who works with the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program-Education (SNAP-Ed). “I recognize the challenges and barriers of low income populations to access healthy, affordable choices in rural food desserts where public transportation options are limited.”

Through the Challenge, Kneifl was charged with gathering data from the Three Rivers District Health Department to help with a needs assessment that aligned with nutrition- and diet-related priority areas. She then developed a proposal and applied for a seed grant of $10,000 through this challenge. Kneifl has been working with extension faculty on campus to devise strategies to address healthy retail options.