SAVANNAH, Ga, (WSAV) – A new initiative has launched in the hostess city, helping make healthy food options the easy choice to make in local grocery stores.

“So this initiative is the healthy checkout initiative, and we’re trying to encourage stores and local grocery stores to have healthy produce close to those checkout aisles,” said Ruby Hallam, REACH Nutrition manager at Healthy Savannah. “That way, when kids come by and want maybe a candy bar, they can pick and orange or an apple instead. It really makes the healthy choice the easy choice.”

The city has teamed up with team Healthy Savannah to start the healthy checkout initiative, an effort to move healthier food options closer to the register to help eliminate impulse buying of candies, snacks, and other not-so-healthy food choices.

The first store to take on that initiative was Red & White Food Store on Habersham.

“We’re in-part trying to combat food insecurity and food apartheid in our community, making sure that healthy options are available for people that shop at local grocery stores, we also want to promote healthier options and healthy lifestyles, kind of trying to minimize our chronic disease burden in Savannah as well,” said Ashley Rainge, Director of Fund Development and Communications at Healthy Savannah.

Healthy Savannah aims to grow this movement to as many local grocers as possible. As well as targeting local gas stations to help that same need in more low-income communities who may not have access to healthy options, or local grocery stores.

“It’s a problem that we’re experiencing nationwide just like food apartheid, which is the lack of healthy options that are available to people especially in certain communities, and with the amount of grocery stores we have in Savannah it’s still not reaching all of the people, so again, anything that we can do to intervene in that,” explained Rainge.

For more information about Healthy Savannah, you can click here.