Langley convenience stores are a little bit healthier, thanks to a partnership with the Marengo County Cooperative Extension (MCCE) Service to bring fresh fruit and other healthy snacks to its stores, the "West Alabama Watchman" reports.

When Tammy Glass, a nutrition education program agent with the county, approached owner Rod Langley about the Good Choice Healthy Food Initiative program, he was excited about the possibilities. “I had started losing weight myself,” he says, adding that he also noticed his stores needed healthier choices.

The program provided the signage, t-shirts and ice barrels to all four Langley locations. Now, a fresh fruit display is front and center by the checkout counter, along with signage pointing to products deemed “Good Choice” foods. “Rod Langley has been incredibly helpful as our partner to bring healthy food access to Marengo County,” Glass says.

The initiative seeks “to make some simple environmental changes where people have access to healthier foods,” says Dr. Barb Struempler, professor of nutrition, dietetics and hospitality management at Auburn University. She also leads the Extension nutrition program. “It’s just making the healthier choice the easier choice.”

Two other Alabama convenience stores in Washington County are also participating in the program. “It’s really cool to think that this is one of the first efforts in this state where they’ve taken ownership to help the health of their citizens,” Struempler says.