Talk of the Towns 8/14/15

Host: Ron Beard, University of Maine Cooperative Extension
Studio Engineer: Amy Browne

Program Topic: Healthy Food Options for Maine General Stores

Key Discussion Points:
o Where do we in Maine stand in terms of healthy eating?
o How easy or hard is it for people to make healthy choices as they plan meals for themselves and their families?
o Do some groups have a more difficult time getting access to healthier food choices?
o What are “food deserts” and do we have them in Maine?
o Where do general stores rural areas fit into the “food system”?
o What elements of the typical business model of a general store get in the way of offering healthier options to their customers? Is this part of a long term trend in terms of where people shop for food? What are some of the
challenges for general stores? How do the wholesalers fit into these trends?
o What models of addressing the notion of “food deserts” have worked elsewhere, perhaps in urban settings? Introduce the Food Trust’s national model and tell how you are adapting that model for rural areas in the
collaboration with Healthy Acadia and CEI. How will it work and where are you in the processs?
o What other general stores are you working with, and what are some of the strategies you are interested in trying?
o How else are you connecting local growers and local consumers, through the healthy general stores initiative and elsewhere in the region? (mention ongoing work with food pantries, schools, etc?) What have been some of the responses?
o Wrap up with contact info and where listeners can learn more about healthy eating and purchasing healthy food

Katie Freedman, Healthy Acadia
Sandy Dubay, Healthy Acadia
Dan Wallace, CEI

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