St. Louis Healthy Corner Store Project
The St. Louis Healthy Corner Store Project works to add healthy options to the food available at small corner stores and markets in the city, primarily in neighborhoods without adequate supermarkets or other sources of affordable healthy food. The project engages local store owners, community residents and organizations in a set of strategies to increase healthy and fresh food options in St. Louis neighborhoods.
The St. Louis Healthy Corner Store Project is currently accepting nominations for the 2014 program year. Since the start of the project, we have found that community leadership and support of the corner store owner plays a vital role in the success of the program. Therefore, the nomination process requires the identification of both a currently operating neighborhood corner store and a community group.
Nominations are due by email or mail by Tuesday, November 26, 2013.
Click here for the Nomination Form (PDF)
Click here for the Nomination Form (MS Word)
Click here for the Selection Criteria Used (PDF)
Click here for the Corner Store Participation Guide (PDF)
Click here for the Community Partner Neighborhood Activity Examples (PDF)
For further information:
University of Missouri Extension
Need for healthy food options
For many St. Louis area residents, buying groceries is a simple task: hop in the car, drive a short distance to a local supermarket, buy food, then return home. But if you live in a food desert--a neighborhood with limited access to affordable and nutritious foods--this weekly chore is not so easy. In many of these neighborhoods, supermarkets may be miles away. Without access to a car, residents must rely on fast food, gas stations or corner stores for many daily meals. Although a variety of corner stores are conveniently located in St. Louis neighborhoods, many lack fresh fruits and vegetables or nutritious snack options and healthy beverages. The result: many city residents are left with a diet of high-priced processed foods loaded with fat and sugar, which contributes to the growing obesity epidemic and numerous health disparities.
Corner stores and community partners are selected through an annual nomination process. When the nomination round is announced, nominations are accepted from City of St. Louis aldermen, neighborhood stabilization officers, neighborhood-based non-profits, neighborhood associations, schools, churches and community leaders. The nomination process requires the identification of both a neighborhood corner store and a leadership group in the community. Since the start of the project, we have found that community leadership and support of the corner store owner plays a vital role in the success of the program.
Participating Stores & Neighborhoods
The St. Louis Healthy Corner Store Project is currently working with the following healthy corner stores and community partners. Stop by any one of our participating Healthy Corner Stores!
- Regal Food III (4200 Shaw Ave, Shaw neighborhood) & the Shaw Neighborhood Improvement Association
- Regal Meat Market (5791 Thekla Ave, Walnut Park East neighborhood) & Walbridge Elementary Community Education Full Service School
- Manchester Market (4519 Manchester Ave, Forest Park Southeast neighborhood) & the Forest Park Southeast Healthy Neighborhood Store Team
- Minnesota Market (formerly called Penny Saver, 3301 Minnesota Ave, Benton Park West neighborhood) and the Benton Park West Neighborhood Association
- B&B Supermarket (954 Goodfellow, West End neighborhood) & the West End Healthy Neighborhood Store Team
- Express Market (3016 Dr. Martin Luther King Dr., JeffVanderLou neighborhood) & the St. Louis Community Empowerment Foundation (coming soon)
- Village Too! (4164 S. Grand, Dutchtown neighborhood) & the Dutchtown South Community Corporation/Dutchtown West Neighborhood Association/25th Ward (coming soon)
The St. Louis Healthy Corner Store Project was launched in early 2011 to improve access to healthy foods in St. Louis neighborhoods. The project is directed through a collaboration of the City of St. Louis Department of Health and the Department of Public Safety, University of Missouri Extension and the St. Louis Development Corporation. Funding for this project was provided in part by the Missouri Foundation for Health, a philanthropic organization whose vision is to improve the health of the people in the communities it serves. In partnership with communities and corner store owners, the St. Louis Healthy Corner Store Project will deliver a comprehensive approach that combines nutrition education and greater availability of affordable, nutritious food.
What does it mean to be a Healthy Corner Store?
If selected to participate in the project, corner store owners/managers agree to sell healthy foods and create a healthy store environment. The following are criteria to participate in the St. Louis Healthy Corner Store Project:
- Regularly stock (some, not all are required):
- Fruits and vegetables (fresh, canned and frozen)
- Low-fat dairy
- Whole-grain and shelf-stable products (i.e., cereal, crackers, rice)
- Healthy beverages (i.e., 100% fruit juice, water)
- Healthy snacks (i.e., pretzels, granola bars)
- Already accept or apply to accept food stamps/EBT
- Mark prices on healthy foods and beverages
- Display promotional materials provided by the HCS Project
- Keep food fresh and food displays clean
What benefits and resources does a Healthy Corner Store receive?
- The store operator will receive the St. Louis Healthy Corner Store Resource Guide full of tips on food safety, food handling and storage.
- A mentor, who has grocery retail experience, will be paired with each store owner. The mentor will provide support in store layout, merchandising, pricing and promotion.
- Publicity and promotion within the neighborhood as a participating Healthy Corner Store
- Healthy Corner Store display items (i.e., baskets, signs, etc.)
- Access to business development resources
What benefits and resources are available for Community and Youth Leadership Teams?
- Support for neighborhood and youth projects and events that promote the healthy corner store
- Nutrition education classes
- Support for community health and wellness activities
For store owners
St. Louis Healthy Corner Store Resource Guide (PDF)
Selling healthy foods can help a store improve total sales, increase customer loyalty and attract new shoppers. The St. Louis Healthy Corner Store Resource Guide contains useful tools and resources to help store owners achieve their business goals. The resource guide is full of tips and tools for corner store owners on food safety, food storage, pricing, merchandising, and marketing.
Corner Store Participation Guide (PDF)
The St. Louis Healthy Corner Store Participation Guide includes information on program criteria for participation, benefits to store owners, and a general description of how the program works.
National Healthy Corner Store resources
Healthy Corner Stores Network: http://www.healthycornerstores.org
The Healthy Corner Stores Network supports efforts to increase availability and sales of healthy, affordable foods through small-scale stores in underserved communities. The network brings together community members, local government staff, nonprofits, funders and others across the country to share best practices and lessons learned, and to develop effective approaches to common challenges. Network activities include bimonthly webinars, in-person meetings at national conferences, the network's Web site, and a list-serve. The Healthy Corner Stores Network is led by the Community Food Security Coalition, The Food Trust, Public Health Law & Policy, and Urbane Development.
Your Food Environment Atlas: http://www.ers.usda.gov/foodatlas/
This online tool was developed by the Economic Research Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). It allows users to map and compare counties across the U.S. on the ability of their residents to access healthful food. It assembles statistics in three broad categories: food choices, health and well-being, and community characteristics. It includes 90 indicators, among them access and proximity to a grocery store, rates of food insecurity, food and nutrition assistance program participation, and availability of local foods.
PolicyLink Healthy Food Retailing Tool: http://www.policylink.org/site/c.lkIXLbMNJrE/b.5137405/k.6042/Healthy_Food_Retailing.htm
PolicyLink is a national research and action institute advancing economic and social equity. This tool describes inequities in access, what causes them, and how to address them. It includes information on retailing opportunities (including improving existing stores); case studies of healthy food retailing projects; and links to additional websites and resources, including policy reports and recommendations.
For more information
Pat Curtis, City of St. Louis Department of Health, CurtisP@stlouiscity.com
Kara Lubischer, University of Missouri Extension, LubischerK@missouri.edu
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