Healthy Corner Stores the Focus of Educational Session

corner store produce photoGood Food Central Florida (GFCF), a local food policy council founded in part by the Winter Park Health Foundation (WPHF), held an educational presentation on The Healthy Corner Store and other healthy food access initiatives at the WPHF and in partnership with The Food Trust in March.

The presentation, which was also offered by webcast to members of GFCF, represented one of a variety of initiatives furthered by the WPHF in an effort to make healthy food more accessible to local residents.

In 2013, WPHF approved a small grant to help support planning for a food policy council in Central Florida focused on increasing access to affordable, healthy food.  The local food policy council, called Good Food Central Florida, is comprised of people from all walks of life who are interested in building a healthier, more sustainable food system.

The Food Trust is a nonprofit organization working nationally to improve access to healthy, affordable food and the information to make healthy decisions. It was awarded a $25,000 grant to provide technical assistance on food access and financing programs in Florida from The Florida Partnership for Healthy People, Healthy Places (The Partnership).

(The Partnership is a collaborative of six Florida-based health funders, including WPHF, the Florida Blue Foundation, the Health Foundation of South Florida, the Jessie Ball duPont Fund, the Quantum Foundation, and the Allegany Franciscan Ministries. It is focusing on healthy food access during its first phase of collective action and funding.)

GFCF members are in the process of recommending strategies for our community to increase access to healthy food and the Healthy Corner Store initiative is an evidence-based strategy that has been successful in other parts of the country. The Healthy Corner Store initiative, launched as a pilot by The Food Trust in 2004, calls for working with corner stores—often sources of unhealthy foods—to help them find ways to supply healthy options, like fruits and vegetables, for consumers.

The group expects to finalize its strategic plan this year and work to advance strategies to increase access to healthy foods in our area.