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PHA Announces New Partners at 2015 Summit

10 New Partners Commit to Offer Healthier Choices at Partnership for a Healthier America’s Annual Summit: Housing developers, convenience stores and college campuses announce new commitments aimed at making healthier choices easier for busy parents, students and families

WASHINGTON, D.C. (February 26, 2015) – Vintners Distributors, Inc., Blue Sea Development Company, Urban Ventures, LLC, Vitus Group and six college campuses today announced new commitments to the childhood obesity fight at the Partnership for a Healthier America’s (PHA) 2015 Building a Healthier Future Summit. PHA works with the private sector and its honorary chair First Lady Michelle Obama to end the nation’s childhood obesity crisis.

“The leaders, companies, universities and colleges that made a commitment today are taking a stance against childhood obesity at a moment in time when we must step FORWARD and not back,” said PHA CEO Lawrence Soler. “Today, with the help of Vintners Distributors, Blue Sea Development, Urban Ventures, Vitus Group and colleges and universities across the country, we are moving closer to our goal of making healthier choices easier for parents, students and families across the country.”

Convenience stores have the potential to bring healthier foods to places that traditionally have limited access to fresh, affordable produce and other healthier options. Vintners Distributors, Inc., which owns and operates more than 120 convenience stores with 12 current Loop Neighborhood convenience stores in California, committed to making healthier options easier at all of its current and future Loop Neighborhood stores. This includes offering healthier products; increasing affordability of those products; increasing marketing and promotion of healthier items; offering bicycle racks for its patrons and bike storage for its employees where possible; and providing a 20 percent discount to employee purchases of fresh fruits and vegetables.

Housing developers play a critical role in ensuring that buildings, streets and neighborhoods are designed and built to support health. Blue Sea Development Company, Urban Ventures, LLC and Vitus Group made a commitment to PHA to prioritize health and incorporate active design strategies into at least 80 percent of their affordable housing development projects over the next three years. Active design strategies were developed in collaboration with the Center for Active Design and leading experts in the built environment space. They include features such as facilities for physical activity, well-designed stairs that encourage everyday use, infrastructure to support walking and biking and free or low-cost programming to support resident health.

Collectively, these three commitments will impact more than 4,250 units of affordable housing across the U.S.

PHA’s Healthier Campus Initiative recognizes that college is a time of profound change for students – a time when new habits often are formed. By creating healthier food and physical activity environments today, campuses and universities can encourage healthier habits that will carry over into tomorrow. American University, Bucknell University, Leech Lake Tribal College, Loyola Marymount University, Rochester Institute of Technology and Saint Louis University are committing to improve healthier habits on campus. These universities and colleges will adopt PHA’s guidelines around food and nutrition, physical activity and programming. They span seven states, impacting nearly 70,000 students and 10,000 faculty and staff, and join 20 other Healthier Campus Initiative partners announced in November 2014.

About PHA: The Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) is devoted to working with the private sector to ensure the health of our nation’s youth by solving the childhood obesity crisis. In 2010, PHA was created in conjunction with – but independent from – 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 health and childhood obesity experts. PHA brings together public, private and nonprofit leaders to broker meaningful commitments and develop strategies to end childhood obesity. Most important, PHA ensures that commitments made are commitments kept by working with unbiased, third parties to monitor and publicly report on the progress our partners are making. For more information about PHA, please visit www.aHealthierAmerica.org and follow PHA on Twitter @PHAnews.

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