Wednesday November 17, 2010
Park Hill Food Mart Introduces Fresh Produce Department with Funding from Federal Grant to Healthy Hometown Movement
For the second time in as many months, a new “Healthy in a Hurry” Corner Store has opened in a neighborhood where fresh fruits and vegetables have not readily been available. “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) grant earlier this year.
The new store is Louisville’s third Healthy in a Hurry Corner Store. It is located inside the Parkway Food Mart at 1201 W. Hill St. directly across from Parkway Place, a metro housing complex with more than 600 residential units.
The Parkway Food Mart, which is owned by Ibrahim and Heather Shaqdieh, utilized nearly $12,000 of grant funds to repaint the store’s exterior, add the “Healthy in a Hurry” signage, purchase refrigeration units, display tables, and the store’s first shipment of produce. Grant funding has also allowed for the creation of a part-time produce manager position which is currently in the process of being filled.
The 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 started last year and makes it possible for grocers in neighborhoods 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 The Dollar Plus at 755 S. Preston and the Shawnee Market at 208 Amy Street in the French Plaza.
“Providing fresh fruits and vegetables is a huge part of creating a healthier hometown,” Mayor Jerry Abramson said. “There are no better places to target than the neighborhood stores residents are close to and comfortable shopping.”
“Giving all of our residents better opportunities to make healthier choices is what all of this is about,” said Dr. Matt Zahn, interim director, Public Health and Wellness. “The timing for this store couldn’t be better as we work to help put healthier foods on so many Thanksgiving tables this year.”
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.”
According to a store survey, more than 9,300 residents live within a one mile radius of the Parkway Food Mart and 78% of respondents said they would buy fruits and vegetables at the store, if available. In addition, 74% of respondents are eligible for and use food stamps. Of those, 90% use them to buy fruits and vegetables when available.
The Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness administers the $7.9 million CPPW grant which seeks to advance the work of the Healthy Hometown Movement and make Louisville a healthier place to live for everyone by:
- encouraging environmental, systems and behavioral change designed to improve the ability to make healthier choices,
- assisting with developing policies, programs and communitywide tools needed to reach the entire community with healthier messages healthier choice support systems,
- targeting entire communities including underserved areas where healthier choices may be severely limited.
To learn more about Louisville’s Communities Putting Prevention to Work grant, visit http://www.louisvilleky.gov/Health/PuttingPreventiontoWork.