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Assessing & Improving Neighborhood Food Stores

Strategies for local health departments

Fact Sheet
Food & Beverages

In many underserved neighborhoods, there is a growing demand for fresh, affordable food.

But in corner and convenience stores, fresh produce and healthy food items are usually in short supply. Although store owners believe that their stock reflects what customers want to buy, community engagement and surveys often show unmet demand for fruits, vegetables, and other healthy products. Local health departments can help store owners be more responsive to their customers and neighbors.

Produced in partnership with Network for a Healthy California Champions for Change, these resources offer strategies for engaging the community while working with your local corner and convenience stores to improve the quality of their stock. These tools are complementary, and can be used together or individually, depending on where you are in the process.

Taking Stock: Creating Healthy Changes at Grocery Stores and Small Markets. This fact sheet explores the many ways local health departments can work with store owners to encourage healthy changes in their places of business. Using the CX3 tool (Communities of Excellence in Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity Prevention), health departments and community advocates can survey strengths, gaps, and weaknesses in local obesity prevention efforts to identify which aspects need the most attention.

Mix it Up: A Guide to Changing Corner Store Offerings. With this fact sheet, healthy corner store advocates will learn the best ways to work with store owners to add the right mix of healthy products to their stock, make the new stock attractive to customers, and spread the word about the changes.

My Neighborhood, My Store: Building Community Leadership for Healthy Changes. Community involvement is paramount to making healthy corner store conversions into long-term successes. This fact sheet discusses the ways community members can influence changes in small food stores, and outlines the important role local health department staff play in community outreach.