Economic Development

PolicyLink paper: “Economic and Community Development Outcomes of Healthy Food Retail”

July 19, 2013 in Featured Articles, Resources

This paper seeks to encourage researchers and policymakers to consider the economic aspects of improving access to healthy food, in addition to the health impacts, which have been the traditional area of study.

Read the full PolicyLink paper.

New Carrots on the Block: A Webinar Series on Healthy Corner Store Strategies

May 29, 2013 in News & Events

Hosted by ChangeLab Solutions and sponsored by the Network for a Healthy California Retail Program

Join ChangeLab Solutions for three webinars this summer on strategies for creating healthier stores in your community. We’ll look at tools to increase distribution of healthy foods to corner stores, offer tips for collaborating with public health partners, and share best practices for engaging community stakeholders. We’ll also interview healthy corner store experts and highlight success stories.

These webinars are designed to give public health professionals, program planners, and other community partners a chance to learn about and discuss effective program and policy strategies. Register today to save your spot!

All webinars are from 11am-12:30pm PST.

June 4th:
Making the link between stores and suppliers:  Overcoming distribution obstacles to bring fresh, healthy foods to corner stores. Building connections between healthy food distributors and small food stores can improve neighborhood food access and support the regional economy.  This webinar will discuss innovative strategies to connect food distributors, growers, and grocers – such as food hubs, cooperative purchasing, and agreements with distributors.

Register here: Making the Link Between Stores and Suppliers

July 2nd:
Partnerships for Healthier Corner Stores:  How nutrition, tobacco control, and alcohol control advocates can collaborate to develop comprehensive strategies to improve and support local food stores.  Public health advocates specializing in nutrition, tobacco control, and alcohol control have each developed strategies to increase access to healthy foods in stores and decrease access to less healthy foods and substances – but generally these efforts have been uncoordinated.  This webinar will present strategies for leveraging the expertise in these fields to develop a comprehensive approach to creating healthy corner stores, with examples of communities that are successfully breaking down these silos.

Register here: Partnerships for Healthier Corner Stores

July 30th:
My Neighborhood, My Store: 
Developing community-driven strategies to design and implement corner store conversions.  Healthy changes to small food stores may not be sustainable if they do not reflect the needs and preferences of local residents.  This webinar will discuss best practices for empowering and building the capacity of community residents to develop healthy corner stores, with inspiring examples from around the country.

Register here: My Neighborhood, My Store

If you can’t join us live on these dates, webinars will be recorded and made available on ChangeLab Solutions’ website, along with slide presentations and links to other resources. 

This material was produced by the California Department of Public Health’s Network for a Healthy California with funding from USDA SNAP, known in California as CalFresh (formerly Food Stamps). These institutions are equal opportunity providers and employers. CalFresh provides assistance to low-income households and can help buy nutritious foods for better health. For CalFresh information, call 1-877-847-3663. For important nutrition information, visit


Licensing & Zoning: Tools for Public Health

July 23, 2012 in Resources, Tools

ChangeLab Solutions, 2012.

Learn how licensing and zoning laws can help promote public health and how to choose the best strategy to meet the goals for your community. Also, learn the difference between licensing and zoning laws. This guide explains how regulations can be shaped to accomplish goals such as limiting the location or density of tobacco retailers or liquor stores, creating “healthy food zones” near schools, increasing the availability of healthy foods, and requiring acceptance of federal food assistance. Many of the licensing and zoning tools described might be helpful for people working on healthy corner store projects.

Download the full pdf here: Licensing & Zoning-Tools for Public Health.

Building Relationships with Regional Grocers

June 25, 2012 in Resources

Download and watch this webinar (organized by Countryside Conservancy) about building relationships with regional grocers. Terry Romp, the buyer for Heinen’s Fine Foods, a  local chain of 17 grocers in northeast Ohio, presents this webinar. Romp has developed the local purchasing  program at the store and has nurtured relationships with local and regional  growers. A fourth generation produce marketer, Romp discusses best  practices for growers who want to sell to regional grocers, along with  information about packaging requirements, billing, volume, and delivery to help  aid local growers who want to sell their products to grocery stores. This information might be useful for those interested in the way local chains make produce purchasing decisions.

Healthy Urban Food Enterprise Development Center

June 20, 2012 in Resources, Tools

Wallace Center at Winrock International.

The Healthy Urban Food Enterprise Development Center has many resources for people working on healthy food access projects. The Center provides grants and technical assistance to “support enterprise development and business-based approaches to getting more healthy food into communities with limited access.” It focuses on solutions that create jobs, provide economic incentives to farmers, and that can become self-sustaining. The Center–an outcome of the 2008 Farm Bill–is funded by the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture, and supports 30 awards totaling over $885,000. The Center’s website includes information about its grantees.

Rural Grocery Summit, June 5 & 6, 2012

April 17, 2012 in Events

Rural Grocery Summit III: Strengthening Our Stores. Strengthening Our Communities
June 5-6, 2012
Manhattan, Kansas
Access to healthy food options is not just an urban issue.  Small towns across America are loosing their only grocery store, forcing them to drive 100s of miles for food.  That is why our friends at the The Rural Grocery Initiative will host their third national Rural Grocery Summit in Manhattan, Kansas on June 5-6, 2012. The agenda looks great, packed with “how to” sessions to help your small town out.  Don’t miss this event if you are interested in the “triple bottom line” of rural grocery benefits – economic development, improving health, and community sustainability.

Specifically, the rural grocery summit will:

  • highlight the latest and best thinking about rural grocery stores and rural community sustainability;
  • emphasize the nutrition, economic development, and community benefits rural grocery stores provide;
  • offer rural grocery store owners and rural grocery stakeholders the opportunity to talk about possible solutions to shared problems;
  • provide a discussion of rural grocery best practices, and
  • chart a path for sustainable rural grocery stores.

Questions concerning conference content? Contact

Dr. David Procter, Director
Center for Engagement and Community Development
Kansas State University

Asian Shopkeepers And The Economics Of Improving Corner Stores

April 10, 2012 in News, News & Events

DCentric, April 10, 2012.

Newly-elected Washington D.C. councilman Marion Barry recently criticized Asian-owned corner stores in D.C., saying the shops are “dirty.” Later he said they should sell healthier products and improve their stores. The councilman is being criticized for the negative remarks he made about Asian store owners, and the incident has people talking about the sometimes tense relationship between the Asian and black communities in D.C.

This article describes some of the challenges small stores face in selling healthier products, and includes an interview with an Asian store owner who participates in DC Central Kitchen’s Healthy Corners Program. The program–funded with a $300,000 grant from the city–includes the launch of an affordable wholesale delivery service that store owners can use to order healthy foods. The store owner interviewed in the article points out that not all Asian store owners have bad relationships with their customers, and suggests that communication can be difficult not only for “Asian retailers, but pretty much all immigrants in the community…The immigrants have the same issue where there’s a language barrier, and also the cultural differences they haven’t quite grasped. It’s just a process they go through. I don’t know how to close that gap real quickly.” He also suggests that customers ask their local store to carry healthier options or specific products they are interested in.

Food for thought

April 2, 2012 in News

MBA students work and study with City Harvest to create healthy eating options for all

New York Post, April 2, 2012.

Business school students in New York are working on the nonprofit City Harvest’s Healthy Neighborhood Initiative. The project’s goal is to provide access to healthy foods in underserved neighborhoods. The students have been doing field research to determine the buying patterns of neighborhood residents, especially middle school kids who tend to buy snacks from bodegas:

“If we can show area store operators that it makes business sense to add healthier products (like fruit cups, whole wheat bagels or frozen yogurt), or replace products that are collecting dust on their shelves with such selections, they might be more likely to do it,” says Carr. “We can inquire about which incentives (such as funding to change store layout) might be favorable.”

When the students are done collecting data, they will analyze it and draft a final report,  “which will include market and customer analysis, recommended snack types and price points.”

Healthy Corner Store Conversion Request for Proposals

March 28, 2012 in News

Working on a corner store project in California? Need financing? Check out this opportunity:

“The California FreshWorks Fund (FreshWorks) announces the availability of $1 million in capital to support healthy corner store conversion programs throughout the state of California.

FreshWorks will award up to ten $100,000 capital investments to qualified intermediaries that work with store owners to implement conversion activities that promote the sale of healthy foods including fresh produce and diary, low-sugar drinks and healthy snacks. The capital investments will take the form of low-interest loans, with partial forgiveness of loan principal available based on performance.”

The due date for applications is May 7, 2012.

Awards will be announced July 9, 2012.

For more information and to fill out an application, go here.

Inside Oakland’s pop-up neighborhood

February 8, 2012 in News, News & Events

Smart Planet, February 8, 2012.

Taking the idea of a pop-up shop to a new level, Popuphood is encouraging entrepreneurs in Oakland, California, to move into empty storefronts with the hopes of revitalizing a downtown Oakland neighborhood. Popuphood lets local businesses use building space rent-free for six months, with the hope that the store will stay on in the neighborhood. This concept could work very well for entrepreneurs who want to sell healthy foods in underserved city neighborhoods.

Check out the short documentary to see how popuphood and local entrepreneurs are striving to revitalize downtown Oakland.

Watch the short documentary below to see what popuphood is doing.

POPUPHOOD from Eva Kolenko on Vimeo.