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AHA improves the health and well-being of Wake County residents by facilitating and supporting community initiatives.

Corner Stores: Key for Healthy Food Access

Yesterday, NC lawmakers introduced a bipartisan bill to give small convenience stores/corner stores grant funding to offer healthy foods, such as fresh fruits and vegetables. This video highlights the bill.

The North Carolina Alliance for Health recently released a statewide survey that shows 70% of NC voters support the creation of a Healthy Corner Store Initiative to address childhood obesity. A majority also believes that state and local governments should provide training and incentives to encourage neighborhood stores, where people often shop for groceries, to stock healthy foods.

According to the Alliance:

  • Youth who live near convenience stores have higher Body Mass Indices (BMIs) and consume more sugary drinks than their peers who live closer to full-service grocery store.
  • A study published in Pediatrics showed that more than 40 percent of elementary school students shopped at a corner store twice daily, often purchasing chips, candy, and soda.
  • Because youth who live in food deserts often shop for food in corner stores, which are loaded with processed foods and foods high in fat and low in nutrients, it is extremely important that these retail outlets offer healthy food options.

A Healthy Corner Store Initiative would assess communities for access to healthy foods, engage interested small retail store owners to offer healthier options, and provide participating retailers with marketing and technical assistance (signage, cooking demonstrations, etc.) to help them promote the healthy foods they sell.

The Initiative would work to connect these store owners with North Carolina farmers, benefiting local farmers by expanding their market opportunities. It would also coordinate with SNAP and WIC to ensure underserved communities can maximize their utilization of these programs in the healthy corner store locations.

Copies of the executive summary of the poll and a summary brochure are available at these links.



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