Partnership for a Healthier America Announces New Partner Commitments and Partner of the Year at 2019 Summit

Sprout Foods, Kwik Trip, National Association of Convenience Stores, Produce Marketing Association, YMCA of the USA, food banks, and colleges and universities celebrated at the Partnership for a Healthier America Summit for driving marketplace and industry transformations

Chicago, Ill. — Today, at its eighth annual Summit, Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) brought together hundreds of public and private sector leaders to celebrate the pioneering progress that its movement has achieved towards creating a healthier future for all and to spark the next phase of the healthy revolution: accelerating change.

“Today we look toward the next phase of the healthy revolution: accelerating change,” said Nancy E. Roman, President and CEO of PHA. “In order to make progress, we must address the food and physical activity culture in the United States and we can’t do that without the private sector. Our partnerships exemplify leaders and industry who believe in tackling social challenges while protecting the bottom line.”

Commitments Made

Harbor Wholesale Foods Harbor Wholesale Foods, a Washington-based distributor that serves more than 2,000 convenience stores and other food retailers in the Northwest, has committed to increasing the supply of and promoting healthier-for-you offerings to its convenience store customers. They have also committed to supporting the health of its employees through new employee wellness programs and providing free fresh fruit every month to employees.

Kwik Trip PHA partner Kwik Trip has made a third commitment to activate PHA’s FNV (Fruits & Veggies) marketing campaign in all Wisconsin stores and work with PHA to evaluate the impact of FNV on fruit and vegetable sales. The company will also incorporate healthier rewards options into its loyalty program.

Produce Marketing Association (PMA)/National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) NACS and PMA have partnered together to offer Sesame Street’s eat brighter! campaign to more than 150,000 convenience and corner stores across the country. The campaign will be used to promote fresh fruits and vegetables with nine popular Sesame Street character images like Big Bird and Elmo—all royalty-free. Character images will be used directly on packaging and marketing materials including websites and apps, as well as signage throughout the store.

Sprout Foods Research shows introducing babies to the savory flavors of veggies sets them up for a lifetime of better eating and reduces the risk of childhood obesity. Over the next three years, Sprout has committed to increasing the percentage of the company’s vegetable-first purees to at least half of all the purees they offer; 100 percent of purees will continue to have no added sugars; and developing and executing a campaign to educate parents about the role early palate development plays in setting children up for a lifetime of better nutrition habits.

YMCA of the USA YMCA’s commitment is focused on making access to all types of physical activity more accessible, affordable, and equitable to underserved and at-risk children. Over Y-USA’s commitment period, the organization will provide 425 sub-grants for Ys to provide free swimming lessons in 2019 with a goal to serve 31,250 youth - including “diverse ability” swim instruction for those children greatest at risk (e.g. autism); 16 sub-grants from the National Park Service (NPS) to expand access to the great outdoors as well as sub-grants from the CDC to increase walking and biking in communities across the country.

Healthier Campus Initiative (HCI) Eight new college campuses joined a growing community of HCI partners – now 75 strong – working to create healthier campus communities. New members announced today include:

  • Dillard University (New Orleans, Louisiana)
  • Illinois State University (Normal, Illinois)
  • Madison Area Technical College (Madison, Wisconsin)
  • Mary Baldwin University (Staunton, Virginia)
  • Marymount University (Arlington, Virginia)
  • Shaw University (Raleigh, North Carolina)
  • University of Utah (Salt Lake City, Utah)
  • University of Florida (Gainesville, Florida)

HCI is a national effort to create campus environments that encourage and support greater physical activity and healthier eating habits. Each university partner has committed to meeting guidelines developed by PHA in collaboration with some of the nation’s leading nutrition, physical activity, and campus wellness experts. To date, HCI includes colleges and universities across 32 states with 30 minority-serving institutions. College and university partners reach more than 1 million undergraduate students, faculty and staff, including more than 400,000 minority students and more than 300,000 Pell Grant recipients.

Food Assistance Partnership Program The charitable food system reaches more than 46 million people struggling with hunger each year and individuals facing food insecurity are more likely to suffer from chronic diseases including diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Eight food assistance partners joined PHA to ensure children and families in need have access to nutritious food options. The new members include:

  • Blue Ridge Area Food Bank (Charlottesville, Virginia)
  • Central California Food Bank (Fresno, California)
  • Feeding South Florida (Pembroke Park, Florida)
  • Food Bank of the Southern Tier (Elmira, New York)
  • Galveston County Food Bank (Texas City, Texas)
  • Good Shepherd Food Bank of Maine (Auburn, Maine)
  • Greater Chicago Food Depository (Chicago, Illinois)
  • Philabundance (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)

More than 20 food assistance partners serving more than 5 million people have made a commitment through PHA to improve the health of their communities. PHA recognizes, elevates, and accelerates the work of food banks and large-scale food pantries committed to addressing hunger and malnutrition by increasing supply and fostering demand of healthier options. These food bank partners commit to evaluating the nutritional quality of at least 50 percent of food in inventory, improving the nutritional quality of food distributed, increasing the amount of nutritious food and beverage distributed, decreasing the amount of food and beverage of minimal nutritional value, incentivize partners to select more nutritious foods and activate distribution environments that encourage the selection of nutritious foods through effective nudges such as packaging, abundance, convenience, display, or signage.

Partner of the Year The PHA Partner of the Year award honors PHA partners that go beyond the key strategies of a commitment with PHA. That means working to ensure healthier choices are more affordable and accessible to all, while also focusing on populations disproportionately impacted by obesity; doing well while doing good; using innovative approaches to address the health issue; and, creating a ripple effect within its industry. This year, that honor goes to the National Association of Convenience Stores.

Over the past six years, NACS has proactively communicated to convenience store retailers the business case for offering healthier options at their stores. With more than 154,000 convenience stores across the nation, NACS gives the industry greater access, information, and resources to ensure that convenience stores across the nation are fully stocked with healthier options.

To learn more about PHA, its partners and commitments made, visit

About Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) PHA’s mission is to leverage the power of the private sector to bring lasting systemic changes that improve the food supply, increase healthy choices, increase physical activity and contribute to a culture of health. In 2010, PHA was created in conjunction with—but independent from—Former First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! effort. PHA identifies, accelerates and celebrates voluntary business practices that improve or increase choice or lead to new norms and behavior around food and physical activity. For more information about PHA, please visit and follow PHA on Twitter @PHAnews.

Toni Carey, Partnership for a Healthier America