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CARLISLE, Pa. -- Giant Food Stores, LLC and its Tops Markets and Martin's Food Markets banners in March will be among the first supermarket chains in the country to kick off Fruits & Veggies -- More Matters, the new program to increase fruit and vegetable consumption created by the Newark, Del.-based Produce for Better Health Foundation.
"It's a new year, so why not become a 'New You' by integrating more fruits and vegetables, the cornerstone of all healthy eating plans, into your diet?" said Beth Holmes, Giant Food director of health and wellness, in a statement. "Most fruits and veggies are good dietary sources of vitamins, minerals, and fiber, and, when consumed regularly, may help reduce the risk of many chronic diseases. Every step taken towards eating more fruits and veggies and getting more physical activity helps families be at their best."
The campaign aligns with the USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which advises Americans to up the amount of fruits and vegetables they now consume; for most people, that means doubling their current intake. The new guidelines employ cups per day rather than servings. Thus, depending on age, gender, and physical activity level, adults should eat 3.5 to 6.5 cups a day. All forms of fruits and vegetables count under the program, including fresh, frozen, canned, dried, and 100 percent juice.
"Incorporating additional fruits and vegetables into your diet is easy," added Holmes. "It can be as simple as adding carrots slices or bean sprouts to a sandwich, or, if fruits are already part of your daily diet, trying new varieties."
Giant, Tops, and Martin's will provide information in all of their stores, and in weekly circulars offering nutritional facts, easy tips, snack ideas, and shopping list suggestions. Nutritionist programming, culinary specialties, and cooking school demonstrations all will stress fruits and vegetables.
Additionally, Giant and Martin's in-store nutritionists will be on hand to help shoppers make healthier choices while doing their weekly grocery shopping.
In coming months, fact and activity sheets to educate children will be found in the produce department. Consumers will be able to access further healthy ideas and tips by visiting www.giantfoodstores.com or www.topsmarkets.com.
Ahold USA-owned Giant Food Stores, LLC operates stores in Pennsylvania, New York, Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia under the Giant Food Stores, Tops Markets, Martin's Food Markets, and "foodsource" banners.
In other Giant-Carlisle news, the National Minority Supplier Development Council (MSDC) of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware presented Giant executive Larry Vereen with an Award of Distinction at its recent Awards Gala. Vereen is a supplier diversity development manager with Giant, and also manages the grocer's regional small-business initiative.
Said Vereen in a statement: "Helping women and minority business owners in our communities only helps us grow stronger as a business, because we become a clearer reflection of the communities we serve. It's a win-win proposition and extremely rewarding work. The Giant commitment to supplier diversity has been strong from the very start, and the way we approach it as a company is the American Dream at its best."
With nearly 30 years in grocery retail business, Vereen, a former store manager and ethnic marketing specialist who lives in Harrisburg, has been at Giant since 1987.