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Healthy Food Retail Initiative
 
The Healthy Food Retail Project is a grassroots approach to increasing access to healthy foods, especially in neighborhoods where residents primarily rely on convenience or corner stores for basic food needs. Through the REACH grant, the PRCHN is working to improve access to healthy foods in under-served neighborhoods by working with convenience and corner store owners to add healthier items to their inventory, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grain breads and pasta, low-fat dairy products, low-sodium canned vegetables, or fruits in 100% juice or light syrup. In addition to making recommendations on healthy food items, the REACH grant staff offers social media and other marketing ideas through HIP-Cuyahoga’s Good Food Here branding. 
 
 
In June 2018, REACH Project Manager Anna Thornton Matos was part of a forum at the City Club of Cleveland that discussed the economics and accessibility of food options in underserved areas. Watch below or on the City Club website. 
 
 
History of the Healthy Food Retail Initiative
The PRCHN and REACH partners developed the Healthy Food Retail Initiative with input from the Food Trust, a Philadelphia-based nonprofit dedicated to increasing access to healthy food. The Food Trust has created a vibrant healthy corner store program in Philadelphia that includes nearly 600 stores. They are a national technical assistance provider for all REACH grantees.
 
The REACH team engaged residents in the target communities to nominate stores in their neighborhood where they saw an opportunity to add healthy offerings. Residents were also able to suggest other healthy food items. Two PRCHN-trained Community Health Ambassadors worked alongside two PRCHN interns during summer 2016 to assess and recruit stores for the Healthy Retail Initiative and completed a baseline inventory at each store. Based on the information gathered, the PRCHN is making recommendations on healthy food items that the store owner feels confident he/she could sell. Read more about the store recruitment process in the July 2016 issue of the PRCHN Connection.

Learn more about the burgeoning healthy retail movement in Cuyahoga County in the following video.
 
The PRCHN REACH staff and HIP-Cuyahoga have developed a series of resource guides that offer planning, implementation, and sustainability tips for both planning organizations and store owners, while also giving examples from our own personal experiences during the Good Food Here initiative in Cleveland. CLICK HERE to download the toolkits.
 
Healthy Food Retail Implementation guide 
 
 Store owner guide cover image
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