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Aloha Island Mart Giving Healthy Snacking a ‘Go’

HONOLULU — First lady Dawn Ige honored Aloha Petroleum Ltd. as the first retail business in Hawaii to adopt the State Department of Health’s Choose Healthy Now project. Choose Healthy Now increases consumer access to healthy food and beverages by labeling healthier items at the point of decision.

The program provides easier access to healthy food alternatives at participating snack shops and convenience stores. The program uses green labels to identify healthy “go” foods, yellow labels for intermediate “go slow” foods, and red labels for “uh-oh” foods that contain higher amounts of fat and sugar.

Aloha Petroleum is piloting the program at its Aloha Island Mart Kahala and Waianae locations and plans to eventually expand to locations statewide.

The pilot stores now feature a healthy Green (Go!) section of 17 healthy items.

Ige is championing the project because she sees the need for easier access to healthy options for Hawaii’s residents.

“In today’s society, convenience foods are often the unhealthy ones. It’s nice to see a business taking a stand to actively promote and make the healthier options accessible,” she said. “We encourage other Hawaii businesses to join us in this effort.”

The pilot stores now feature a healthy “Green (“Go!”) section of 17 healthy items.

“We are very pleased to partner with the First Lady and the Department of Health on this initiative,” said Aloha Petroleum president and CEO Richard Parry. “One of our key goals is to provide healthy options for our customers, and to demonstrate to them that you can buy healthy items in a convenience store. Choose Healthy Now will make it that much easier for our customers to make good choices.”

Choose Healthy Now began as a partnership between the Department of Health and the Department of Human Services’ Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Ho’opono Vending Program. It launched in May 2014 with six snack shops in state and federal government buildings on Oahu, and is expanding to an additional 12 sites by January 2016.

Ho’opono vendors have begun labeling all food and drinks as healthy, moderately healthy, or less healthy using the green, yellow and red stickers.

Aloha Petroleum will promote the healthiest green items in its stores and plans to use written materials, posters and other resources to inform customers of their options.

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