Urban programs

Urban programs

St. Louis Healthy Corner Store Project

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. 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. Developed by MU Extension, in partnership with the City of St. Louis Health Department and St. Louis Development Corporation, the St. Louis Healthy Corner Store will add sites in 12 neighborhoods over the next three years. 

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St. Louis Healthy Corner Store Project

According to the American Community Survey (U.S. Census Bureau, 2010), 66% of Missourians live in urban areas. The percent of Missouri’s population living in metropolitan statistical areas increased from 68 to 75% between 2000 and 2010. 

Every year, thousands of these urban residents turn to University of Missouri Extension to gain practical knowledge, solve problems, adapt to change and make informed decisions. By tapping into statewide university research, MU Extension specialists provide urban Missourians with a wide range of programs, including:

Business and Workforce Development
In Missouri urban areas, business specialists assist in starting new businesses and creating new jobs, along with increasing sales and improving profitability.

Nutrition Education and Healthy Eating
Nutrition education programs are offered in schools, community centers and other settings through metropolitan areas. In Missouri urban areas, nutrition and community development faculty work with partners to address lack of access to healthy groceries in food desert neighborhoods, and integrate gardening and nutrition education in public schools. 

Youth Development
Urban youth participate in a range of programs, including 4-H clubs, leadership development programs, and summer academies. The Youth Futures program brings teenagers to MU to get an idea of what it will be like to go to college – and how to get ready. 

Gardening and Horticulture
Master Gardeners in urban communities contribute thousands of volunteer hours and work in a range of projects, including creating demonstration gardens and assisting neighborhoods in establishing community gardens. 

Housing and Financial Education
Urban Missourians turn to MU Extension for information on energy management, healthy housing, aging in place and rehabbing historic buildings. Financial education programs help families to re-establish credit, women to build savings and credit, youth to increase financial knowledge, and employees to plan for retirement.  

Community development
Neighborhood associations and nonprofits participate in MU Extension workshops and seminars that strengthen leadership and build the capacity of organizations to revitalize communities. MU Extension faculty connect community leaders with university research to address urban issues and develop strategies. 

Find MU Extension near you