Smart Shopping for Smart Snacks – Part II
Last week we had the opportunity to listen in on an interview that our Healthy Schools Program Manager in Missouri, Terry Atteberry, had hosted with Kim Buckman and Mary Lewelling, wellness coordinators from two of our Healthy Schools Program districts. To learn more about how our new resource, the Healthier Generation Store with Amazon Business, has supported their work in schools, check out the second half of their conversation below. This week’s discussion focuses on unique ways that the Healthier Generation Store can be used in school activities every day.
Let’s chat a bit about student acceptance. We know how critical it is to not only serve healthier snacks to students but for students to enjoy healthier snacks as well. Can you share any student feedback that you’ve received since you began using the Healthier Generation Store?
Kim: We used Store-purchased chocolate whole grain cookies in place of candy at Halloween during an event. Students liked it better than other items given out!
Mary: Students love the compliant snacks because they often don’t even realize they are actually eating healthier! Teachers say it is so nice to have a “special treat” that they are assured are acceptable. It makes it feel like a special occasion for the kids.
We previously heard from Mary regarding her experience in a rural community. Kim, as someone who works in a community that falls somewhat in between rural and urban settings, we know that you have your own unique set of challenges when it comes to accessing and identifying healthier options, too. Can you share your thoughts on those challenges and how the Healthier Generation Store can support schools like yours?
Kim: Our local stores – which tend to be dollar stores or small local grocery stores – typically don’t feature the healthier snack items that we need. While they do a good job of covering the “must have” items like onions, etc., people in my area still need to travel 30-45 minutes away and deal with traffic to purchase other items from a big box store. The Healthier Generation Store helps to eliminate obstacles including travel, cost concerns, and not knowing if what you are purchasing fits the guidelines.
One of the great things about the Healthier Generation Store is that it can be used by a wide variety of stakeholders, including PTAs, teachers, and student groups. How have you informed your community about the solutions that the Healthier Generation Store provides?
Kim: I work with many other afterschool organizations. I tell them all about the Healthier Generation Store! Sometimes we will order products for the organization to sample and share. All you need is an Amazon account, which people are comfortable with, and it can create variety in shelf-stable items for different programs, like buddy packs.
Mary: I host a monthly story hour after school and serve snacks I purchased from the store. We choose a theme for the book and purchase a snack to fit the theme. We couldn’t be that versatile in our snacks before the Healthier Generation Store!
Kim, just for fun, what is your favorite healthy snack available in the Healthier Generation Store?
Kim: Cinnamon graham crackers! When served with yogurt and fruit or peanut butter and apple slices, it is a tasty and substantial snack!
Mary, is there anything else you’d like to add, or that you think districts like yours should know, about the Healthier Generation Store?
Mary: I have been very impressed with the ease of using the store. You can look at previous orders, compare prices, and re-order from that list. Concession stands or other school stores can have a reoccurring order each month. It saves so much time!
We thank Kim, Mary and Terry for their time – what a great conversation! If you haven’t already, be sure to check out Part 1 of their interview.
Ready to get started?
Join Kim and Mary in Smart Shopping for Smart Snacks! No matter where your district is located, you too can enjoy the benefits of the Healthier Generation Store with Amazon Business, including simple ordering, business only pricing, and free standard shipping on orders of $25 or more.
About those featured in the interview:
Terry Atteberry: A former Eldon School District wellness coordinator, office manager and coach, Terry joined the Healthier Generation team in 2015. In her role, she works with rural, urban and “in-between” school districts, many of which do not have access to options for healthy snacks. She has been excited to see how the Healthier Generation Store has provided the reassurance and confidence districts need to support healthier programs, celebrations and rewards in a positive way.
Kim Buckman: Kim serves as the Project Director/Community Wellness Coordinator for Randolph County Caring Community, supporting local efforts to impact youth wellness. Kim partners with the school district for afterschool activities, as well as with other clubs that collaborate with the district such as Parks & Rec, Boy Scouts/Girl Scouts, and 4-H.
Mary Lewelling: Mary is the District Wellness Coordinator for Cooter and Hayti School Districts, two districts that partner with the non-profit Pemiscot Initiative Network. Mary also serves as the Backpack for Friday Coordinator and Story Hour Coordinator.
*These products were determined to meet nutrition standards by the Alliance for a Healthier Generation based upon products’ ingredient statement and Nutrition Facts panel. All purchasing must be made in accordance with federal, state, and local procurement regulations. Procurement regulations are highly complex. The Healthier Generation Store was created to provide schools and sites with an option that may help them more easily access products that meet nutritional guidelines. We encourage schools and sites to connect with their district/organization procurement/purchasing department and/or State agency if they have questions regarding compliance with federal, state and/or local procurement regulations.