The stories below describe a variety of ways in which communities are having success. You can also view other success stories through our ‘Promising Practice Videos’ to see how the initiative got started in five BC communities.
Kelowna YMCA-YWCA Success Story
In 2006, Kelowna YMCA-YWCA replaced high fat and sugar options with healthier ones, and labeled all vending choices using the BC School Nutrition Guidelines signage system that was in place at that time. Throughout, all facility users have supported the initiative, leading to an immediate $400 increase in sales. Kelowna YMCA-YWCA now plans to increase their efforts, eliminating the “Do Not Sell” options entirely. They credit part of their success to public events they’ve held which were very well attended and which boosted awareness.
Penticton Recreation Success Story
Following their participation in a pilot test, three Penticton facilities formed Healthy Choices Committees to plan and implement long term changes. They encountered a number of challenges including obtaining funding, preventing significant revenue loss for the concessions, and dealing with an uncooperative concession operator in the arena. But Penticton recreation found solutions: they obtained funding through GetActive Penticton!, hired a coordinator to implement the plan along with a nutritionist, and approached vendors who had already successfully worked with the schools’ healthy choices programs. They’re now very pleased with the progression of the initiative.
Panorama Recreation Centre Success Story
Panorama Recreation Centre in North Saanich is a healthy food pioneer: due to pool changeroom renovations and space constraints they had to remove their concession, so they expanded their healthy vending service. The facility and their Commission believe offering healthy choices is more important than revenue from food and beverage sales,but they strive to minimize any drop in sales. Panorama was following the changes happening in schools, and felt many of them could be successful in the recreation centre setting. After significant planning and implementation, in October 2007, Panorama found that 72% of products sold were from the “Sell Most” and “Sell Sometimes” categories. They cite support from all levels of management, front line staff, and the Commission in the success of the program.
Chetwynd Success Story
Following their participation in a pilot test, the District of Chetwynd Recreation Complex now hopes to offer 100% healthy choices. After finding a vending supplier, they plan to offer the healthy choices for a year then assess the results. Despite an anticipated initial revenue loss, the recreation and staff recognize their responsibility to the community, and want to find ways to profitably offer healthy choices. Chetwynd has found it challenging to find vending suppliers that service the area and to compete with a convenience store across the street. Nonetheless, they will continue to target both vending and concession and will also make changes to after school programs and special events. Because of this, Chetwynd Recreation Centre is an example of a very successful small community’s approach.