We are excited to announce that we became SuperShelf certified in January! SuperShelf is a program initiated by HealthPartners, University of Minnesota Extension, the Food Group, and Valley Outreach. The program helps Minnesota food shelves provide clients with better access to healthy food in a welcoming environment.
The program is used at food shelves throughout the state. We began the process of certification last summer. Here are a few of the updates we made:
New narrower shelves.* We switched our shelving to create a more uniform look and widen the aisles for easier movement. We also added clear bins** to organize smaller items.
Updated signage and new shopping lists.*** Our new signs are color-coded to help differentiate sections and include four languages: English, Spanish, Russian, and Somali. We also added shopping lists for clients to use as they select their food.
Fresh produce up front. We moved our fresh produce from the back of the food shelf to the front. According to behavioral economics, people take 50% more of the items they encounter first.
Healthiest choices are at eye level. For example, whole grains are easiest to access, with refined grains on lower shelves. Bakery items are still offered, but on fewer shelves and closer to the ground.
Updated stocking standards. To encourage cooking, we now order and stock vegetable oil and spices. We also ensure that each section has an array of choices.
Thank you to Target, FastSigns, and Cutsforth for supporting this project! And thank you to our many volunteers who helped transform the food shelf! We are so excited to help our clients make healthier food choices and to offer a welcoming, dignified experience for our neighbors in need.
* Donated by Cutsforth, Inc.
** Donated by Target.
*** Partially donated by FastSigns