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5 innovative hunger-fighting programs

Healthy Corner Stores Network

Photo: The Food Trust

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Healthy Corner Stores Network, The Food Trust

In urban neighborhoods that lack supermarkets, families depend on corner stores for their groceries. Due to a lack of space and the perishable nature of fruits and veggies, access to fresh produce is often limited at these locations. Food choices are often restricted to highly processed and packaged fare, which can be linked to type-2 diabetes and childhood obesity.

The Journal of Pediatrics reports that 29 percent of school-age children frequented corner stores up to twice a day, consuming 390 calories per visit. Rather than demonize store owners for selling junk food, the Food Trust launched the Healthy Corner Stores Network. Since 2004, the nonprofit organization in partnership with the city of Philadelphia has worked with store owners to provide healthy food at an affordable price. Members of the Food Trust staff educate store owners on how to stock and sell healthier snacks and pantry items, which in turn can lead to an uptick in new business.