Throughout the months of April and May, the American Heart Association and several of our partner organizations have been touring corner stores throughout the Garden State to educate lawmakers and others in the community about the NJ Healthy Corner Store Initiative.
In April and May we visited several markets in Camden, Newark and Vineland. Senator Rice, Assemblymen Greenwald, Fuentes and Wilson, Assemblywoman Pamela Lampitt, Mayor Dana Redd and Mayor Ruben Bermudez all joined us at one of the visits to hear from the store owners about how participating in the NJ Healthy Corner Store Initiative has impacted their businesses. The visitors also toured the stores to see the selection of healthy products that were stocked.
The NJ Healthy Corner Store Initiative is an effort to work with corner store owners to help them offer healthier options in their store. Businesses that join the network have access to training, educational and marketing materials and other resources to help them successfully offer healthy products, especially in communities that lack access to supermarkets. Currently approximately 80 stores are enrolled throughout the state, but that number is on track to increase to about 150 by the end of 2015. We hope to expand the program to accommodate all stores that want to attend.
We thank that elected officials that attended one of the site visits for their interest in healthy food access and for taking the time from their day to learn more about the NJ Healthy Corner Stores Initiative.