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NJ State Senator Ron Rice Tours Lucky Fox Market

July 9, 2015 | Community News, Community News and Media, Newark

Learns How Corner Stores Can Help Families Make Healthy Food Choices

ricestoryTouring Newark’s Lucky Fox market on May 5, State Senator Ron Rice saw firsthand how the Healthy Corner Store Initiative helps merchants to profitably stock, sell and bring healthy, affordable food options to residents.

“Senator Rice is aware of the issues with the food desert environment in Newark. He was glad to see that stores are tackling the problem,” said Courtney Price, New Jersey Partnership for Healthy Kids-Newark (NJPHK-N) project manager who accompanied the Senator on his visit, along with representatives from the American Heart Association and The Food Trust.

Lucky Fox Market (164 Irvine Turner Boulevard, Newark Central Ward) is one of four corner stores in Newark that have signed on to the Healthy Corner Store Initiative. The New Jersey Healthy Corner Store Initiative is a statewide program focused on increasing the availability and sale of healthy, affordable food in local stores and bodegas in communities that are underserved by supermarkets. Before joining the Initiative, store owner Salvatore Rodriguez renovated his store adding a deli and produce refrigerator, new lighting and flooring. The store is within walking distance to Central High School, which houses a school-based health clinic operated by Jewish Renaissance Medical Center. The store serves residents, students, and health clinic patients—prime traffic for the expanded fresh produce and other healthy food options.

“Healthy corner stores like Lucky Fox are making healthy choices easier and more affordable for Newark’s kids and families. That’s a critical step for addressing obesity in our city,” said Price.

To qualify, corner stores display sanctioned marketing materials —including recipe cards —to indicate healthy food options; introduce at least four new healthy food products from two different food groups; and agree to periodic progress assessment visits. In turn, the stores are eligible for training and technical assistance that enable them to profitably stock and sell the new, healthy food items, as well as advertising, marketing, and promotional materials to attract new customers.

NJPHK-N co-director Michael C. Bright emphasized the importance of this effort: “Children need healthy food options to grow and thrive. We are proud to co-lead this NJ Partnership effort to expand nutritious food choices for Newark families.”

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