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fruitsandvegsHouston has fewer grocery stores per capita than other major cities. In 2010, 36% of Houston residents lived more than a mile away from a grocery store. Lack of access to healthy food and beverage options may contribute to higher rates of death due to chronic diseases observed in Sunnyside compared to the greater Houston area. To increase availability of healthy food and beverages, local organizations and corner store owners are partnering to invest in healthy corner stores. This is the beginning of the Houston Healthy Corner Store Network.

Corner stores provide an avenue to capitalize on existing infrastructure to make healthy food and beverage options more accessible to Sunnyside residents. Additionally, Houston has many local organizations dedicated to nutrition, education, and improving the health of their community. This is important because residents may not know how to prepare healthy meals. One of these organizations, Children and Neighbors Defeat Obesity (CAN DO) Houston, has led nutrition classes in Sunnyside and has built a strong relationship with community members. In collaboration, healthy corner stores can be key to increasing access to healthy food and beverages.

Launching in July, three corner stores in Sunnyside will be piloted to stock healthier food and beverage options for their community. This includes stocking more fruits and vegetables, providing whole-grain products, low-sodium canned foods, and healthier beverage options. Healthy products will be displayed at the cash register and prominent locations. In conjunction, local organizations are joining in this healthy corner store initiative. A local farmer will be distributing fresh produce to these stores.

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 A few organizations will host food demonstrations to show Sunnyside residents how to prepare and cook easy, healthy meals. Residents will be able to sample the food demonstrations and some healthy products. To encourage residents to purchase healthy options, there will be a frequent healthy customer shopper card.

 From the three pilot stores, we envision the Houston Healthy Corner Store initiative to continue and expand to other corner stores city-wide, particularly corner stores located in low-income neighborhoods in which residents do not easily have access to a grocery store that supplies healthy food and beverages. 

Through the healthy corner stores, residents in these neighborhoods will have healthier food and beverage options available to them. Increased accessibility of healthy food and beverage options will promote more health equity and may reduce rates of death attributed chronic disease in low-income areas.

The healthy corner store Sunnyside locations include:

Texas Marketplace (known as “River Brook”)
9505 Scott St.
Houston, TX 77051

J&B Food Market
3637 Sunbeam
Houston, TX 77051

Southland Market
3520 Reed Rd.
Houston, TX 77051

More information:

Houston Food Desert Report
Houston Supermarket Report

 

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