142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

"Central California Healthy Stores Initiative" Addresses Health Inequity in Underserved Communities

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Tuesday, November 18, 2014 : 5:30 PM - 5:50 PM

Genoveva Islas, MPH , Central California Regional Obesity Prevention Program, Public Health Institute, Fresno, CA
Reyna Villalobos, MPH , Central California Regional Obesity Prevention Program, Public Health Institute, Tulare, CA
California’s Central Valley is known for its abundant fruits and vegetables; however, many families struggle to get access to these healthy foods.  In low-income and minority neighborhoods, a greater inequity exists in accessing healthy food, due to fewer full-service grocery stores, higher concentration of convenience stores and an overabundance of fast food restaurants.  Store conversions can help to address these challenges by using existing infrastructure in communities, which is a more immediate solution than siting new full service grocery stores. 

In 2012, the Central California Regional Obesity Prevention Program’s (CCROPP) “Central California Healthy Stores” initiative was established to 1) increase access to fruits and vegetables in communities where access to these foods was limited or non-existent, 2) support the connection to locally grown produce and 3) develop a distribution model that connects small store owners and local farmers.   

Three pilot stores in rural Fresno County participated in the Healthy Stores project, including: Lee’s Market in Fowler, Easton Market in Easton and Gong’s Market in Sanger. Broad elements that made up the overall process of initiative were: community engagement, connecting store owners with local farmers, networking among local groups, marketing and education, supporting store infrastructure changes, and the provision of technical assistance.  CCROPP was successful in establishing a Healthy Rewards program to increase the customer base and provide incentives to customers for purchasing fruits and vegetables. 

The small stores seek to address health and equity concerns, improve access and sales of healthy food, and create new business markets for local farmers. 

Learning Areas:

Advocacy for health and health education
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Describe model for converting small, rural stores into “healthy stores” Explain the key steps required to implement “healthy store” model Identify partners needed to be involved in healthy store project Describe community and health benefits of small store conversions Discuss lessons learned

Keyword(s): Advocacy, Built Environment

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the Director of the Central California Regional Obesity Prevention Program (CCROPP). The Central California Healthy Stores Initiative is a project of CCROPP.
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.