Project 18 tags at Marsh help Hoosiers choose healthy foods

Topics: Immersive Learning, College of Communication Information and Media, Miller College of Business

October 1, 2009

 On Oct. 1, Marsh Supermarkets and Peyton Manning Children's Hospital at St. Vincent launched the Down the Aisle program for parents and children to have access to healthy food choices at all 92 Indiana Marsh stores and O'Malia's Food Markets. The food items will be made available through the new Project 18 school health and wellness campaign, which aims to fight Indiana's childhood obesity problem and focuses on education and community outreach. 

Project 18 is a collaborative effort with Peyton Manning, Peyton Manning Children's Hospital at St. Vincent, Marsh Supermarkets and Pharmacy, Ball State University and Strategic Marketing and Research Inc. (SMARI). The project, which is named for Manning's football jersey number, provides Indiana elementary schools with an 18-week health and wellness curriculum designed to address the major risk behaviors in third-grade to fifth-grade students. It focuses on the areas of nutrition, physical activity and holistic health.

The Down the Aisle program encourages Indiana parents, children and families to select from more than 600 Project 18-approved food choices. Each food item is appropriately tagged with the Project 18 logo and is conveniently located on Marsh store shelves. The healthy choices follow the food pyramid and are based on health and nutrition guidelines from Peyton Manning Children's Hospital medical professionals and Ball State students.

"Marsh is pleased to be able to launch the retail component of the Project 18 program," said Chris Duffy, vice president of pharmacy at Marsh Supermarkets. "Our goal is to educate our parents and children on how to make the best possible food choices and how to be a healthy shopper."

Marsh will also provide store tours that will educate children and parents on reading food labels, practicing portion control and providing healthy tips when shopping for food in each food pyramid section. The supermarket also encourages students by offering their respective schools monetary awards through the Marsh Fresh Ideas for Education program.

This past summer, the Project 18 van toured more than 40 community events throughout central Indiana and reached approximately 10,000 families. A number of activities were conducted to increase awareness and provide education on eating healthy and living active lifestyles.

The children's hospital also contacted more than 5,000 public and private Indiana elementary schools to generate participation in the wellness program. As a result, more than 204 schools representing 60 counties throughout Indiana are participating in Project 18 this school year. Peyton Manning Children's Hospital at St. Vincent also has received support from a number of partners across the state and nation to assist Project 18 in reducing Indiana's childhood obesity rates. 

For more information, visit project18.stvincent.org or visit any Indiana Marsh store.

About Peyton Manning Children's Hospital at St. Vincent
Peyton Manning Children's Hospital at St. Vincent was founded on delivering family-centered care for all pediatric patients throughout Indiana. The dedicated children's hospital has grown to more than 300 pediatric specialists, 46 inpatient beds, 15 beds in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, and 17 private rooms in the Hilbert Pediatric Emergency Department. The array of pediatric specialists and clinical staff at the comprehensive children's hospital provide the highest quality of care in emergency medicine, cancer and blood diseases, general surgery, cardiology, orthopedics, pulmonology, otolaryngology, rehabilitation and endocrinology.

About Marsh Supermarkets and Pharmacy
Headquartered in Indianapolis, Marsh operates 99 Marsh Supermarkets and 5 O'Malia's Food Markets in Indiana and Ohio. The largest pharmacy chain based in the state of Indiana, Marsh has 41 pharmacy locations. Marsh has the distinction of being the first grocery store in the world to use electronic scanners to ring up purchases. Nearly 9,000 employees serve 2 million customers weekly.

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