Monday December 12, 2011
Louisville is opening its sixth and seventh “Healthy in a Hurry” Corner Stores in the Chickasaw and Portland neighborhoods where fresh fruits and vegetables had not readily been available. The “Healthy in a Hurry” initiative is part of the Mayor’s Healthy Hometown Movement which received a $7.9 million federal Communities Putting Prevention to Work (CPPW) in March 2010.
The new Healthy in a Hurry store in Chickasaw is the Happy Food Mart located at 1201 Cecil Ave., owned by Muhammad Akbar. Akbar is using approximately $17,000 in grant funds to add “Healthy in a Hurry” signage, for facade improvements, equipment (a refrigerator and dry goods table), marketing, community outreach, technical assistance and first order of produce.
“The Healthy in a Hurry Store initiative has helped me to offer fresh, healthy foods to my customers,” said Akbar. “With the high cost of a new refrigeration unit and displays, I would not have been able to carry fresh fruits and vegetables without the help of the initiative.”
The new Healthy in a Hurry store in Portland is the Curtis Market located at 2720 Duncan St., owned by James Mitchell and managed by his son, Jimmy Mitchell. James Mitchell is using approximately $8,000 in grant funds to expand his selection of fresh produce, for signage, technical assistance and to market the store throughout the surrounding area.
“Even though we’ve been offering fresh produce for some time, the Healthy in a Hurry initiative has made it possible to expand the selection we offer to our customers,” said Jimmy Mitchell.
Staffing and improvements are coordinated by the Healthy in a Hurry initiative of the Healthy Hometown Movement and its partner, the YMCA of Greater Louisville. The Healthy in a Hurry initiative makes it possible for grocers in neighborhoods not served by a full-service supermarket, known as food deserts, to carry fresh produce and other healthy foods that might otherwise not be available.
Healthy in a Hurry stores are also located at Webb’s Market at 944 E. Muhammad Ali Blvd., Old Farm Boy Market at 1200 Dixie Hwy., the Shawnee Market at 208 Amy Street in the French Plaza, at the Parkway Food Mart at 1201 W. Hill St. and at the Berrytown YMCA at 1300 Heafer Rd.
“It’s gratifying to see that the federal Communities Putting Prevention to Work Grant is accomplishing so much in Louisville,” said Congressman John Yarmuth. “Louisvillians who live in neighborhoods without supermarkets will have easier access to healthy fruits and vegetables. Kids in our public schools will have nutritious foods and more physical activity during the day. And we’ll all benefit from an infrastructure that better supports bicycling, walking, and other physical activities.”
“The Healthy in a Hurry Corner Store initiative has really taken off, and is a key tool in creating a healthier Louisville,” said Mayor Greg Fischer. “It has been very successful in bringing fresh produce and better nutritional opportunities to citizens in many of our city’s neighborhoods that don’t have a supermarket.”
“These two new Healthy in a Hurry stores will make it possible for Chickasaw and Portland residents who don’t have a car to make better food choices,” said Dr. LaQuandra Nesbitt, director of the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness. “There are more than 9,500 households within a one mile radius of the Happy Food Mart and more than 7,400 within a mile of Curtis Market. Now healthy fresh fruits and vegetables will be within walking distance.”
The Happy Food Market lies in Metro Council District 1. Councilwoman Attica Scott said,” By creating this Healthy in a Hurry corner store in the Chickasaw neighborhood, our city is showing its commitment to food justice in West Louisville. I am ecstatic that we are investing resources in a way that encourages and promotes healthy living by ensuring that families, especially children, have access to fresh fruits and vegetables."
As part of the program, stores receive start-up produce and technical assistance. The Center for Health Equity and the Y also work with food distributors to negotiate delivery costs for businesses participating in the Healthy in a Hurry initiative.
“A healthy choice should be an easy choice,” said Steve Tarver, president and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Louisville. “Breaking down barriers and providing access for people who want to eat healthy, but may not always have the opportunity, is our goal and Healthy in a Hurry is helping to make that happen.”