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The Village Cafe in Walker, owned by Gary and Theresa Bilben, is the first restaurant to begin assessment of menu labeling for the Statewide Health Improvement Program in Cass County.

Village Café joins SHIP

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business Bemidji, 56619
Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

Cass County Health, Human and Veteran Services has announced the Village Square Café in Walker as the first restaurant to begin assessment of menu labeling for the Statewide Health Improvement Program.

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Established in 1979, The Village Square Cafe is owned by Gary and Theresa Bilben. Both their families have lived in Walker since the town's beginnings. The Village Square Café offers a variety of menu items including salads, pizza, pasta, sandwiches and wraps. The Bilbens joined the efforts of SHIP in April and are in the beginning stages of assessment. When the assessment is complete, the café will formulate an action plan and tentatively begin implementation of menu labeling this summer.

More than 20 states and localities are considering policies that would require fast-food and other chain restaurants to provide calories and other nutrition information on menus and menu boards - four have already passed policies (www.menulabeling.org).

In the health reform bill passed by the U.S. Congress is a provision requiring chain restaurants with 20 or more outlets to disclose the number of calories on menus.

Cass County restaurants participating in SHIP efforts are not required but are choosing to integrate menu labeling into their business policies.

Menu labeling initiatives include a wide variety of information to create healthier options for consumers.

Restaurants are guided by SHIP Coordinator Leslie Staker as part of the community sector of Cass County SHIP and will create policy, systems and environmental change to create sustainable programs to reduce obesity.

For details, call Staker at 218-280-2277.

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