Healthy Hometown targets eat well, move more and feel better

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A walking audit of Guttenberg in September revealed a need for sidewalk repairs. City workers completed a sidewalk inspection in October, and sent letters to homeowners in November informing them of a June 2020 deadline to complete repairs. (Press photo by Caroline Rosacker)

By Caroline Rosacker

The planning committee for Healthy Hometown Powered by Wellmark met in late February at Guttenberg Municipal Hospital & Clinics (GMHC).

Aaron Swanson, Wellmark healthy hometown representative, opened the meeting with a review of the Master Plan that was developed last summer by the committee. The group discussed the success of tactics that were implemented covering three target areas: eat well, move more and feel better. 

Eat Well

The Eat Well group reported the success of two healthy eating/healthy choice programs. 

Kay Vifian offered a total of five taste-testing/cooking demonstrations during the Guttenberg Farmer's Market 2019 season. 

Vifian reported, "The cooking and taste testing definitely had an impact on sales. The smells associated with food preparation encouraged people to stop and inquire what was cooking. After tasting, they often bought items used in the sample." She continued, "It was especially fun having people taste food they had never eaten, such as Swiss chard, fresh garlic, garlic chives and garlic scapes. No one knew what garlic scapes were, but after tasting I sold all I had!" Vifian added, "Many people commented on not knowing what to do with the various vegetables. When they saw how easy it was to just sauté any available vegetable it convinced many to purchase what they had tasted."

In addition to the Farmer's Market trial, a fresh salad option was added to the GMHC menu on Wednesdays using locally grown greens from Kay Vifian. 

Amy Speed, Director of Marketing & Development at GMHC commented, "We offered 20 specialty salads each week during a ten-week period and all orders were sold out almost every week during that time. Our staff enjoyed the healthy option and looks forward to more fresh salads this spring."  

The Eat Well group plans to expand their efforts to provide healthy fresh and local produce to the community.

Move More

The move more group completed a walking audit of Guttenberg in September. City workers completed a sidewalk inspection in October, and 57 letters were sent to homeowners in November informing them of a June 2020 deadline to complete repairs. 

A grant from Iowa Great Places was received in January 2020. Funding will support the creation of a gateway entrance at Schiller St. leading to streetscape improvements including decorative paving, corridor art structures, sidewalks, catenary and period lighting, signage, crosswalks and planters. A new pedestrian crosswalk is planned at the intersection of Highway 52 and Schiller. A later phase may include benches, trash receptacles,

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