New Orleans set out to become one of the fittest cities in the nation back in 2012 when Mayor Mitch Landrieu launched Fit NOLA. The initiative is working to address access to healthy foods and places to get active across the city and is making progress with more than 200 partners involved. Switching out junk food for healthier foods and beverages in vending machines, cafeterias, concession stands, and at city meetings and events across a major city – and uniting stakeholders to support it – is an important part of that effort.
This week the “NOLA Healthy Vending and Service” campaign announced at a press conference city-wide vending machines, cafeterias, and meetings will include more healthy options for city employees and the public visiting city facilities. As a result, all vending machines will include more whole grains, lower sodium options and fewer sugary drinks. Hundreds of families playing at city parks will be glad to see less junk and more goodness for their children. All city employees will have the benefit of a wider variety of healthy beverage and food choices in worksite vending machines and cafeterias. Fit NOLA is taking it a step further by supporting local businesses in making the same changes. As of October 2015, more than 31,000 people are benefitting from their business adopting the Fit NOLA recommended wellness policies.
The new vending, cafeteria, and meeting guidelines go hand-in-hand with other NOLA transformation initiatives. Fit NOLA partners have also increased bike lanes, refurbished parks and increased farmers markets. With the addition of healthy vending and services, the entire community is one step further along the path of getting fit together.