Employee wellness program idea: stock a healthy break room

Local spotlight: American Structurepoint helps employees eat healthy with free fruit, nutrition workshops

Pop into the break room at American Structurepoint, Inc., on a Monday afternoon, and you’ll likely find employees snacking on fresh apples, pears, bananas—even kiwi—courtesy of the company.

The architecture and engineering firm on Indianapolis’ northeast side gets produce from local company Green BEAN Delivery each week and makes it available to staff at no charge as one component of its employee wellness program.

“I get notified when the delivery arrives and head to the break rooms to set everything out in baskets and crates,” says Jessica Anderson, co-chair of American Structurepoint’s Employee Wellness Committee. “Then I check on it once a day—condense containers, pull out anything that has over ripened—until it’s all gone. It’s usually gone by Wednesday or Thursday.”

Fruit at American Structurepoint

American Structurepoint’s Employee Wellness Committee—comprised of volunteers representing each of the firm’s divisions—generated the idea to provide free produce more than two years ago, as part of its efforts to help employees make healthier nutrition choices. They wanted to provide healthy alternatives to candy, chips, and other snacks that were available in break room vending machines.

“We didn’t want to take things away,” explains Mike Steffy, Committee co-chair with Anderson. “We wanted to add the healthier options. As an added incentive, we wanted the healthiest options to be free.”

The Employee Wellness Committee has worked with its vendor to provide other programs and incentives for employees. For example, during a “lunch and learn” workshop, American Structurepoint employees learned how to assemble a salad of greens, vegetables, and proteins in a Mason jar for a healthy “brown bag” lunch.

Salad assembly line during "Mason Jar Salads" lunch and learn

“Our employees want easy, practical tips, and that fit the bill,” says Steffy.

The lunch and learn event taught employees how to pack salad ingredients so everything stays fresh and crisp. Employees can now assemble enough salads on Sunday evening to last the entire work week.

Anderson says it has been “surprisingly affordable” to provide fresh produce to American Structurepoint’s 300+ employees in two separate buildings. Although the cost of the produce originally came out of the Employee Wellness Program budget, that has recently changed.

“Free fruit has really evolved into an employee benefit, so that’s how it is budgeted now,” explains Anderson.

The budgeting change frees up some employee wellness funds for new initiatives in 2017. It also demonstrates how attention to employee health is becoming entrenched in the company culture.  

Photos provided by American Structurepoint, Inc. 

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Want to learn more ways central Indiana employers are increasing healthy eating in the workplace? Download our guide, 4 Strategies to Increase Healthy Eating in the Workplace, for sample catering menus, tips for delivery orders, vending machine strategies, and more.

4 Ways to Increase Healthy Eating at Work