Convenience stores in Newark, NJ, are shifting their focus from packaged snack foods and soft drinks to fresh fruit, which will be prominently displayed in refrigeration units in the front of stores. Newark officials are paying for the equipment, and other cities are also investing in similar initiatives, the New York Times reports. The aim is to improve the diets of low-income citizens. Often, stores like these are the only options in some areas, making it even more important they offer healthy choices.
“If you are educating people to make good choices, but those choices aren’t available nearby and they don’t have a car to drive out to the suburbs to the supermarket, or an hour to ride two buses to get there, then it’s really hard for them to make good choices,” said Kai Siedenburg of Portland, OR-based Community Food Security Coalition, which promotes access to healthy food.
The program in Newark combines community health concerns with grants, helping to reinvigorate stores and the neighborhoods where they’re located. A similar project in Cleveland, called the Cleveland Corner Store Project, uses sidewalk signs and posters to promote small stores that offer healthy fruits and vegetables.
Read the full story in the New York Times here.