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Goya ‘Better for You’ Low Salt, Healthy Food Products to be Sold at Bronx Bodegas as part of Healthy Bodega Program

New York, NY August 4, 2017— Bronx Health REACH, a community coalition led by the Institute for Family Health, in partnership with the Hispanic Information and Telecommunications Network, Inc. (HITN) and The Bodega Association of the United States (ASOBEU), have partnered with Goya Foods, America’s largest Hispanic-owned food company to offer Bronx residents the opportunity to purchase Goya’s ‘Better for You’ line of low salt, healthier food items at four Bronx bodegas. Customers will be offered the opportunity to sample some of the delicious and healthy Goya products through cooking demonstrations and taste testings at the four participating bodegas.

Two Bronx bodegas, A & M (1393 Webster Avenue) and Mi Parada (860 East 180th Street) are participating in the Healthy Bodega Program, a comprehensive small business training program that converts bodegas into “Model Healthy Bodegas” that sell fresh produce and healthy deli options. The Healthy Bodega program is a collaborative effort led by the Bronx Health REACH Coalition, the Bodega Association and the Hispanic Information and Telecommunications Network that includes over twenty Bronx bodegas.

“Selling low sodium products in Bronx bodegas will greatly benefit many of the patients the Institute serves at our community health centers in the Bronx, and is a step in the right direction toward helping people control their blood pressure,” said Neil Calman, MD, president and CEO of the Institute for Family Health.

Bronx Health REACH Director Charmaine Ruddock remarked, “We applaud Goya partnering with Bronx bodegas to sell their ‘Better for You’ line of low sodium products. With the limited availability of grocery stores in the Bronx, residents will now be able to purchase the healthier version of Goya, a staple in most local stores.”

Ramon Murphy, ASOBEU President added, “By partnering with Goya Foods and offering their ‘Better for You’ products, the community can purchase low sodium products at neighborhood bodegas and offer more healthy food to customers. With healthy communities there will be healthy businesses.”

Julia Mair, Project Director at HITN stated, “Goya’s partnership with bodegas to sell and promote Goya healthy options makes both the stores and the community stronger. When you have healthy communities and healthy businesses, everyone wins.”

“Goya Foods, Bronx Health REACH, the Bodega Association, and HITN are supporting the Center for Disease Control’s national sodium reduction initiative by spreading the word to communities around the country to reduce the amount of sodium in their food,” said Meriterese Racanelli, MS R&D Food Scientist/ Nutritionist for Goya Foods internationally and the Bodega Association. “The majority of the sodium that people consume comes from prepackaged and premade foods, and if they are mindful of this and choose low sodium choices there can be a significant reduction in sodium related health issues such as high blood pressure.”

Support for the Healthy Bodega program is provided by funding from a four year REACH (Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health) grant from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Newman’s Own Foundation and funding from the New York State Department of Health’s Creating Healthy Schools and Communities grant.

The Institute for Family Health/Bronx Health REACH is a founding member of “Not62 – The Campaign for a Healthy Bronx,” responding to the Bronx being ranked 62 out of the 62 counties in New York State by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s County Health Ranking Report since 2009. The Healthy Bodega Program is part of this effort to improve the health of all Bronx residents.