Food City and UT Medical Center partner to expand Healthy Living Kitchen


Steven C. Smith, Food City president and CEO (left) with Joseph R. Landsman, Jr., president and CEO of UT Medical Center

Food City and The University of Tennessee Medical Center recently announced a partnership to expand the educational and informational Healthy Living Kitchen program to reach communities throughout the area.
Consisting of a registered dietitian, cardiac nurse specialist and senior executive chef from UT Medical Center, the Healthy Living Kitchen team presents healthy cooking classes and provides valuable information on nutrition, label reading and making the right choices while grocery shopping. Through the resources of Food City, the new partnership is expected to result in a significantly greater reach for Healthy Living Kitchen programs and educational efforts at schools, community events and Food City supermarkets throughout the region.

“With Tennessee ranking as the fourth most obese state among adults, I’m proud to announce this partnership, which represents a commitment from both organizations to address the health needs of those we serve in this community,” said Joseph R. Landsman, Jr., president and CEO of UT Medical Center. “Together, we’ll expand the message of positive nutritional choices well beyond the walls of the medical center, reaching out to so many more people in the region, including the loyal Food City customer base and the thousands of Food City associates. We’re going to make a difference on behalf of the people of East Tennessee through the education provided by the Healthy Living Kitchen.”

Obesity increases the risk of Type 2 diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, stroke, sleep apnea and liver and gallbladder disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control, obesity also may increase the risk of certain types of cancer, including breast, colon and uterine. Food City and UT Medical Center representatives say they hope to minimize some of those risks in the community.


Jim and Betty Fox never miss a Healthy Living Kitchen cooking class and, together, have lost almost 100 pounds by changing their lifestyles and cooking healthier. Read their story...


“Food City is excited to partner with UT Medical Center to bring about the expansion of this much needed program,” said Steven C. Smith, Food City president and CEO. “We’re proud to be a local, family owned company employing more than 13,000 associates. As the leading supermarket in our region, we have a responsibility to our customers, associates and community to do all we can to educate them on the importance of making wise decisions with regard to their purchases. Many of the issues that affect our health and wellness are a direct result of our eating habits - good or bad. We feel this program will work hand in hand with our NuVal nutritional scoring system to provide consumers with the added insight necessary to make more informed choices for their families.”Food City’s NuVal system scores food on a scale of 1-100, taking into consideration more than 30 nutrients and evaluating the dietary importance of each to determine an overall nutritional quality score. The higher the score, the higher the nutrition. NuVal scores are prominently displayed on shelf price tags, scale labels and other in-store signage featuring the trademark blue hexagon design. NuVal has researched and scored more than 35,000 items.

The expanded Healthy Living Kitchen program, made possible through a generous philanthropic gift as well as a variety of in-kind services by Food City, will include grocery shopping tours at select Food City locations with a UT Medical Center registered dietitian informing consumers on how to read food labels as well as providing information about healthier choices at the grocery store.

The partnership also will allow the Healthy Living Kitchen staff to deliver the message of healthy eating to Food City’s loyal customer base and will reach Food City’s vast audience through its marketing efforts at events such as NASCAR races, the Knoxville Food Show and UT sports. The Healthy Living Kitchen program is an ideal fit with the mission and goals of Food City, officials with the medical center and Food City said.

Register now for the next Healthy Living Kitchen cooking class, "Heart Healthy Cooking," on March 9.    

Headquartered in Abingdon, Virginia, K-VA-T Food Stores operates 106 retail food outlets throughout the tri-state regions of Southeast Kentucky, Southwest Virginia and Northeast Tennessee.