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Studies find that Latino neighborhoods tend to have lower access to fresh, healthy foods.
Communities in New Jersey, like communities across the the country, are working hard to find ways to bring fresh fruits and vegetables into neighborhoods that need them. In Vineland, where 38% of the population is Latino, city and health officials have been working with local corner stores to make fresh, healthy food available and easy to grab.
The New Jersey Healthy Corner Store Initiative, launched by Live Healthy Vineland, the American Heart Association, the Food Trust and New Jersey Partnership for Healthy Kids, has worked with corner stores statewide, teaching store owners how to properly store and push fruits, vegetables and even food options with less sodium. The program also teaches the store owners how to properly store and shelve the fresh food. The initiative is funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
In Vineland, Live Healthy Vineland has worked with 5 different corner stores. Program leaders stay in contact with the stores that are a part of the initiative and make sure it continues.
They aim to expand this program even further in the coming months.
Live Healthy Vineland is creating a Healthy Food Network with schools, restaurants and food banks to reduce poor eating habits. Live Healthy Vineland also received grant money from the Centers for Disease Control in 2014 to help.
By the end of the year, there will be 25 stores in Vineland pushing healthier options through the initiative.