Ashland: Small Town Making Big Changes 05.15.2014

ASHLAND, NH (5/15/14) – With a population of about 2,000 people and covering less than 12 square miles, Ashland, New Hampshire, is a small town making some big changes. Over the past year, HEAL NH has worked with Ashland town officials, as well as community members, to support several projects designed to provide residents with more healthy eating choices and opportunities to get out and be physically active.

In April alone, Ashland launched two healthy eating, active living projects. On April 19, Ashland launched an organic community garden and over 50 people showed up at the ribbon cutting ceremony. A day earlier, Dot’s Bread & Butter joined The Common Man Restaurant ­­– two Main Street eating establishments in Ashland – to offer healthy menu items to their customers.

As part of the program, Dot’s Bread & Butter and The Common Man worked with a registered dietitian at Speare Memorial Hospital in Plymouth to modify and/or add several menu items to meet healthier standards, including lower fat and sodium content. The program also requires that the HEAL approved menu items be clearly marked.

These local restaurants do not fall under the new federal menu-labeling legislation, nor does the State require them to offer healthier menu items or provide nutritional labeling, so why are they choosing to modify their menus to make them healthier? 

According to Joe Collins, Executive Chef at Dot’s Bread & Butter, “We believe that the sky is the limit with the positive impact this type of thinking can make. Giving opportunities for people to make healthier choices in this manner can really make a difference.”

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