Health and Wellness Advocates of Cherokee County name Old Riverton Store July Health Champion

RIVERTON - In recent years there has been a strategic push to promote healthier living, improve dietary intake, and to increase physical activity from sources including the media, health organizations, and government entities in order to improve health. The concept of eating healthier foods to improve the quality of life of an individual seems logical, but the opportunity may be a distant dream for low income individuals residing in areas termed as food deserts.

“Limited access to supermarkets, supercenters, grocery stores, or other sources of healthy and affordable food may make it harder for some Americans to eat a healthy diet. There are many ways to measure food store access for individuals and for neighborhoods, and many ways to define which areas are food deserts—neighborhoods that lack healthy food sources (United State Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food Access Research Atlas).”

Individuals residing in rural areas with limited access to transportation are often at the discretion of the foods available locally to make up their regular dietary intake. Areas within Southeast Cherokee County are categorized as food deserts by the USDA due to limited income and limited access to supermarket or grocery store. Individuals residing in these areas may struggle to obtain access to fresh fruits and vegetables; however the Health and Wellness Advocates of Cherokee County would like to recognize the Old Riverton Store for their commitment to local residents.

The Old Riverton Store has been open since 1925, serving the needs of local residents and travelers from around the world. Scott Nelson, the owner, acknowledges that some local citizens may have limited access to fresh produce and groceries. As a result, the store keeps a stock of basic grocery items and produce to help provide healthy dietary options to shoppers.

In addition, The Old Riverton Store has a greenhouse and sells plants and seeds to provide the opportunity for individuals to grow their own seasonal fruits and vegetables. In an area that lacks a grocery store within walking distance, The Old Riverton Store is doing what they can to provide healthy options and opportunities for local citizens. As a result, the Health and Wellness Advocates of Cherokee County would like to recognize The Old Riverton Store as a Cherokee County Health Champion.

Numerous companies, social groups, and individuals throughout the county have identified making wellness a priority for their employees, youth, and peers. Healthier lifestyles leads to long-term benefits including improved health, increased productivity, and enhanced quality of life. The Health and Wellness Advocates of Cherokee County need your help in highlighting the organizations throughout the county that are making health and wellness a priority. Please nominate a Cherokee County Health Champion by emailing or calling Christina Holmes at ChristinaHolmes@ksu.edu or 620-429-3849.

Kansas State University is committed to making its services, activities and programs accessible to all participants. If you have special requirements due to a physical, vision, or hearing disability, contact Christina Holmes, Cherokee County Extension, 124 W. Country Rd, Columbus, KS 66725, phone 620-429-3849 or email ChristinaHolmes@ksu.edu.