Results from a community initiative using a NYC department of health toolkit to increase the availability of healthy foods in corner stores
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
Background: Corner store interventions have potential to address access to healthy food in low-income communities. However, successful changes need to be driven and sustained by customer demand. New York City provides a free toolkit for community groups to work with local stores to change offerings in a flexible, tailored way. We describe results after two schools, in conjunction with a community group, used this kit in the Bronx, NY, to change the corner store where students shopped and compare them to two stores near other schools that did not undergo the intervention. Methods: Parents at both schools received nutrition education prior to using the toolkit. Corner stores nearest to the schools were selected. Customers at all four stores were surveyed about their purchases at baseline (May), and after changes were introduced (October). In addition, participating parents were surveyed and store owners interviewed. Results: Overall 779 customer surveys were collected. There were no changes in purchasing patterns of food items at the stores. Store owners were receptive to the intervention but faced challenges identifying healthy foods, sourcing them, selling them at competitive prices, changing infrastructure, and overriding their distributors. Parent groups were reluctant to push for changes and faced challenges engaging the larger community. Changes made were not sustained. Discussion: Results will provide important information on how to shape future policies focusing on improving food environments, specifically small corner stores. Community Store owners were receptive to community suggestions, but could not fully implement and sustain the changes.
Public health or related research
Describe the results of a community-led effort to create healthy corner stores using a health department toolkit.
List challenges encountered by community groups and corner store owners in creating healthier corner stores.
List products commonly purchased by 779 customers at four corner stores in a low income area of the Bronx, New York.
Keyword(s): Food and Nutrition
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I lead the Section on Health Choice, Policy and Evaluation in the Department of Population Health at NYU School of Medicine. My background is in health economics and health policy. I study how policy and environmental approaches influence health and health care, with a particular emphasis on obesity and food choice. I particularly focus my work on low-income, racial and ethnic minorities.
Any relevant financial relationships? No
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines,
and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed
in my presentation.