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Cumberland Farms Joins Partnership for a Healthier America
Pennsylvania Ag Connection - 05/18/2017

Cumberland Farms announced that it has joined the nonprofit Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) in its mission to promote healthy choices and fight childhood obesity - becoming the largest convenience store chain in the country to do so.

PHA is a nonpartisan organization led by some of the nation's most respected health and childhood obesity advocates, who are supported in their efforts by honorary chair Michelle Obama.

Cumberland Farms, a family-owned company with nearly 600 retail locations and 8,000 employees, unveiled its inaugural three-year partnership at PHA's annual summit in Washington, D.C. The company's multi-part commitment is aimed at promoting healthier food options in the states where Cumberland Farms operates.

In those eight states -- New England, New York, and Florida -- more than 70% of Cumberland Farms stores are located in 'food deserts,' according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture definition for communities that are underserved by supermarkets and other traditional grocery sources.

"Across the country, but especially in food deserts, modern convenience stores are providing essential access to nutrition for American families," said PHA President and CEO Lawrence Soler, adding that the new Cumberland Farms commitment "will help ensure that healthier foods are an easy and affordable choice for millions of customers, from all walks of life."

Specifically, over the next three years, Cumberland Farms has committed to concrete, measurable steps that will:

- Emphasize the selection of healthier foods sold in its stores (through signage, new products, and revised store layouts);

- Encourage its team members to incorporate healthier foods into their diets (through exclusive everyday discounts and nearly 40,000 employee coupons every month);

- Support its communities by making healthier foods more universally accessible (through competitive pricing, continued SNAP participation, and more than 100,000 pounds of food donations every year); and

- Leverage its private label products to promote healthier foods (through the PHA "Drink Up" Water Initiative and its "Healthier Food" ingredient and recipe guidelines).

"With this commitment to PHA, we're taking another step toward the future of the Cumberland Farms brand, and our renewed emphasis on fresh food," said Ari Haseotes, CEO of Cumberland Farms. "Our vision is to be the clear choice for our on-the-go customers, including an increasing number who want the option of healthier meals to bring home and better-for-you snacks for the road."

According to Soler, PHA will support Cumberland Farms in the implementation of its commitment, as well as provide independent third-party verification of the stores' progress each year.

Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) is devoted to ensuring the health of our nation's youth by solving the childhood obesity crisis. In 2010, PHA was created in conjunction with but separate from former First Lady Michelle Obama's "Let's Move!" effort. PHA is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that is led by some of the nation's most respected public health authorities and consumer behavior experts. PHA brings together public, private, and nonprofit leaders to broker meaningful commitments and develop strategies to end childhood obesity. Most importantly, PHA ensures that commitments made are commitments kept, by working with unbiased third parties to monitor and publicly report on the progress of its partners.

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