Healthy Corner Stores

The New Haven Healthy Corner Store Initiative is launching this month at Clinton Food Center in Fair Haven.

Sponsored by Community Alliance for Research and Engagement (CARE) at Yale and the New Haven Health Department, the organizations are working with neighborhood corner store to increase their selection and marketing of healthy foods.

The first four participating stores are the Clinton Food Center and Vinny’s Market, both in Fair Haven; Adam’s Food in Dwight; and Congress Market in the Hill. The launch of the first Healthy Corner Store will be at the Clinton Food Center on Friday, April 29, at 10 a.m.

Participating stores will receive incentives such as display stands, free marketing and advertising and give-away items for customers. The corner stores will place the Healthy Corner Store logo near healthier choices to help customers make more informed decisions.

Corner stores are an important part of New Haven’s neighborhoods, and families and children frequently visit them for snacks and groceries. In many areas, corner stores outnumber traditional groceries and they often sell junk food and other unhealthy items. In CARE’s recent asset mapping project of six New Haven neighborhoods, 104 food stores, were counted, over two-thirds of which were corner stores. Through the Healthy Corner Store Initiative, CARE is working to turn these stores into community assets – places where children and families have the option of buying fresh produce and healthy snacks. Stores that are in close proximity to schools have been prioritized to help students develop healthy eating habits at an early age.

CARE is a research group within the Yale School of Public Health and is committed to improving the health of city residents by fostering rigorous community-based research and by translating scientific breakthroughs into practical benefits.

In addition to the Healthy Corner Store Initiative, CARE is also sponsoring a citywide contest to encourage smokers to quit and has implemented a program in several city schools—known as Health Heroes—to promote healthier eating and lifestyle habits at an early age.

This article was submitted by Denise L Meyer on June 27, 2012.