Providing Employees and Families Access to Healthier Choices

American Heart Association

May 9, 2016
in Procurement

The City of Springdale is the first city in Arkansas to have a mandate endorsed by the American Heart Association that implements evidence-based nutrition standards for healthier food and beverages in vending machines provided in buildings and property owned or leased by the City.

The mandate ensures that if vending machines are located on city properties such as public libraries, parks, pools, museums and community centers, they will meet recommended nutrition standards to provide residents with healthier options, as well as use calorie labeling to provide basic education on nutritional value of what is available. In addition, Springdale’s more than 500 employees will benefit from healthier choices in vending machines where they work, including City Hall, police and fire departments. With a population of 76,500 this is a critical step in building a culture of health for all Springdale residents.

“This directive will offer healthier options to City employees and residents on City property,” said Springdale Mayor Doug Sprouse. “We worked closely with the American Heart Association on these guidelines in order to promote health and wellness in Springdale.”

The research is clear that eating nutritious foods and eating only enough to meet energy needs can reduce cardiovascular disease risk and promote wellness. Vending machines can still carry some of the traditional snack foods people have come to expect, but now those looking for healthy options will have more choices. The American Heart Association encourages employers and cities to create a healthy work environment and promote a healthy lifestyle for their employees and the public that come through city-owned facilities.

“We are so excited that Springdale is joining cities across the country that are making a difference and helping families choose healthy snacks and drinks,” said Deven Daehn, American Heart Association community health director. “Mayor Sprouse and his staff recognized the importance of expanding the City’s practice of offering healthy options in vending machines to all City property in order to further promote the City’s commitment to improving the health of its employees and visitors.”

The American Heart Association advocates for healthier options in all worksite cafeterias and vending machines and applauds the City of Springdale for leading the state on this important effort to ensure access to healthy options for those that live, work, and play in Springdale, Arkansas.

Resources are available to help companies develop their own policies and tips to make a workplace healthier in the Healthy Workplace Food and Beverage Toolkit.