With 25 Vineland corner stores participating in the Healthy Corner Store initiative, the effort is expanding throughout the three-county area served by the Cumberland Cape Atlantic YMCA.
Four stores in Millville have signed on to sell and promote more healthy food choices, as have two stores in Bridgeton. In Atlantic City, seven stores are committed.
Stores participating in Healthy Corner Stores benefit from consultation from The Food Trust and Live Healthy Vineland/New Jersey Partnership for Healthy Kids-Vineland (NJPHK-V). “We advise the store owners on effective ways to display and promote healthy foods,” said David Calderetti, NJPHK-V project manager. The promotion may include health screenings and consumer education too. “We also help owners apply for grants for freezers when they become available.”
In Atlantic City, NJPHK-V partners with AtlantiCare Health Systems and Rutgers SNAP-Ed. They hope to host a health fair in a local school this spring complete with health screenings and vouchers that can be used in participating corner stores. The success of that outreach will set the blueprint for future health fairs.
In Vineland, the goal is to start broadening the definition of “corner store” to include food pantries and to transform the existing food desert into an oasis of fresh fruits, vegetables, and other healthy choices.SHARE: