In some communities in New Jersey, it is easier to find grape soda than an actual grape! In areas that lack easy access to grocery stores, people go to corner stores and other small retailers to buy the items they need to feed their families. Unfortunately, many small business owner face challenges in offering healthy staples like whole grain breads, low fat milk and fresh produce. The American Heart Association is hoping to change that!
We are working with our partners at The Food Trust and New Jersey Partnership for Healthy Kids to form the New Jersey Healthy Corner Stores Initiative. This initiative will bring in business owners, public health officials and economic development professionals to study the problem and offer solutions. There have been several small, local Healthy Corner Store efforts in various areas of the state and we are looking to expand the success of those programs throughout New Jersey.
Every family in New Jersey deserves access to healthy foods. I will be attending all the Fall Heart Walks in October. If you are there, please feel free to stop by the “You’re the Cure” table to say hi and learn more about this effort.