The Washoe County Health District is seeking more corner and convenience stories to stock healthier food and drinks. Health officials said many people rely on smaller convenience stores for food, and options for healthier options are often limited in smaller stores.
“Corner stores have the potential to improve the health disparities associated with the lack of healthy food access in underserved neighborhoods,” said Kevin Dick, district health officer. “This is a step in the right direction to improving chronic illness which is connected to health barriers such as access to healthy foods.”
Three local stores since last year have signed up for the county’s Grab Healthy program, which offers stores marketing and educational support to sell the fresher food.
“We participated in the program because most of our customers that we serve are older and live in neighborhoods nearby,” said Marizaman Mari, Vassar Market’s owner. “We are concerned about their health and that is why we try to stock healthy foods for them.”
A visit to Mari’s store today shows the healthy foods are nestled in with canned goods and frozen, packaged food. Fruits and vegetables – both frozen and canned – are stocked along with pre-packaged food but the healthier options are labeled differently.
Store owners/managers interested in participating in the Healthy Corner Store project, can contact Amanda Santos at 775-328-2474 or visit GetHealthyWashoe.com.
Bob Conrad is publisher, editor and co-founder of This Is Reno. He has served in communications positions for various state agencies and earned a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Nevada, Reno in 2011. In addition to managing This Is Reno, he holds a part-time appointment for the Mineral County University of Nevada Extension office.