CSP, June 2011. A great overview of the food dessert issue in underserved areas, the convenience store industry’s response, and federal and local initiatives. The article highlights a few s of the more established HCS programs in Minneapolis, Hartford, and Detroit, as well as a few rural stores, their approaches and challenges. A few of our favorite quotes are below:
“Whether chain or corner store, “There’s not one single problem, and not one single solution, and we’re not saying that the grocery store is the be-all, end-all,” [Mari Gallagher] continues. “Small stores are already in existence. They’ve overcome start-up costs. You change things immediately, whereas it takes longer to develop a new store.”
“While the federal government provides the road map and financial incentives, state and community-based entities—including retailers, community nonprofits, city government agencies and private donors—are doing much of the grunt work in tackling food deserts.”
“One of the most promising models is the healthy corner store initiative.”
The article ends with an acknowledgment that providing healthier options isn’t the only piece in the healthy communities puzzle—education needs to be provided to increase demand for healthy foods as well as create policy that enables these foods to compete near the same price point as junk food.