Guide to Improve Food Options at Corner Stores Published by USDAJune 10, 2016
The USDA recently published the Healthy Corner Stores Guide to improve access to healthy foods for residents of low-income neighborhoods, including SNAP recipients. Corner stores, also known as convenience stores or bodegas, often serve as the main source of food for families that cannot purchase fresh produce and other healthy items nearby. The guide provides information, strategies, and resources for organizations that seek to increase the availability of healthy options at corner stores.
Key Points of the Healthy Corner Stores Guide
- Corner stores provide an important opportunity for public health interventions in low-income communities
- Corner stores are defined as “a small-scale store that sells a limited selection of food and other products.”
- After implementing improvements, corner stores have:
- Greater availability of fresh produce, canned items with lower levels of sodium and sugar, and healthier snack items
- Better storage equipment
- Increased demand for healthier items by an engaged community
- Prominent display of healthier choices
- Successful programs engage store owners and community members, provide nutrition education, and market healthier product options
Successful Healthy Corner Store Programs
- Philadelphia, PA: The Food Trust’s Healthy Corner Store Initiative aims to encourage youth and adults to purchase healthier foods through education and marketing initiatives.
- Oakland, CA: ChangeLab Solutions Healthy Small Food Retailer Certification Program works with communities to prepare and participate in policy change, specifically for obesity and healthy eating.
- New York, NY: ShopHealthy, an initiative of the New York City Health Department, aims to increase access to healthy food as well as build long-term support by the community for improvements in food retail environments.
- Baltimore, MD: Baltimore Healthy Stores, part of the Healthy Stores Project, focuses on preventing obesity and chronic disease in low-income communities with corner store-based interventions.
- Healthy Corner Stores Network
- USDA Healthy Corner Stores Press Release
- Healthy Eating on a Budget
- SNAP-Ed Resource Library
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