Food Oasis team service desk

Food Oasis: Promoting Healthier Eating

NorthBay employee with older gentlemen, eating healthy food

Solano County is dotted with “food deserts,” areas where fresh, healthy and affordable food is not readily available and convenience stores and fast food restaurants have replaced grocery outlets as primary shopping centers.

In an effort to bring healthy foods to those areas, NorthBay Healthcare partnered with Solano VIBE to give a local supermarket a “healthy makeover” in September.

Solano VIBE aims to make the county a healthier place for all. The program is funded by a grant from the Centers for Disease Control. The goal is to improve access to water and healthy, fresh food options and to smoke-free environments.

With music pumping and balloons waving in the breeze, the Fairfield Grocery Outlet on Travis Boulevard near NorthBay Medical Center welcomed registered dietitians Melinda Scholten, Michelle Morton, and Addison Ford along with Alicia Gambetti, R.N., who served up healthy eating information and NorthBay takeaways, including sunscreen and lip balm.

The celebration came a week after a crew of workers and volunteers spent a day completing a “healthy makeover” of the store, putting up signs and providing a plethora of healthy options for customers to choose from, including organic fruits and vegetables.

Officials say Solano County compares poorly with many counties in the state when it comes to grocery access. At the same time, Solano County, as compared to other counties and the state in general, has one of the highest numbers of fast food outlets and one of the highest rates of obesity and diabetes in the state, both directly related to diet.