Promoting healthy food choices, hosting wellness events and educating residents about how to reduce their risks of getting diseases like cancer and diabetes might be standard practice for a medical office or a fitness club. But when a supermarket chain makes that commitment to health for its customers and employees, County officials believe it needs to be acknowledged.
On Monday the County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) named Northgate González Markets the first Live Well, San Diego! business in the region in recognition of its commitment to improve the health and well-being of the communities it serves.
“Northgate González Markets is actively promoting the health of its customers and employees and has launched programs to help them lead healthier and active lifestyles,” said Chairman Greg Cox, County Board of Supervisors. “Northgate supermarkets are a great example of what living well is all about.”
In 2010, the County of San Diego launched Live Well, San Diego!, a 10-year initiative to improve the health, safety and well-being of residents. One of the goals of the initiative is working with the business community to promote healthy options for their customers, and promoting health and safety among employees.
The County is developing partnerships with businesses that champion the principles of Live Well, San Diego! and recognizing them for having a history and commitment to promoting positive choices for their employees, customers and the communities they serve. As a designated Live Well, San Diego! business, Northgate González Markets will be given a printed logo to display at their storefronts to highlight the partnership.
“Today marks another major milestone in the advancement of Live Well, San Diego!” said Nick Macchione, HHSA director. “By partnering with progressive companies like Northgate, the Health and Human Services Agency and its community partners are driving a positive and healthy bottom-line for San Diegans and our regional economy.”
In 2010 Northgate launched its Viva La Salud program, a comprehensive health and wellness initiative at its 36 stores throughout California, including eight in San Diego County.
The program offers customers and employees tips on how to stay fit and prevent chronic diseases, such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease.
The Viva La Salud program includes in-store health classes and events. The supermarket chain also prints labels to make it easier for people to identify items that are rich in fiber and low in sodium, sugar, fat and cholesterol.
“We want to help our employees and customers lead healthier lives by providing healthy product options, nutrition education and community resources,” said Victor González, Northgate González Markets vice president. “Northgate is part of the community and we are committed to serve.”
In 2012, Northgate González Markets received the first California Fresh Works Fund loan, which finances grocery businesses that provide affordable, healthy foods and open stores in communities that do not have supermarkets.