According to a recent report by The Food Trust, the Healthy Corner Store Initiative has helped to improve healthy food access in lower-income communities throughout New Jersey. The Food Trust, the New Jersey Partnership for Healthy Kids and the American Heart Association convened a statewide task force to examine and address the needs of communities which lack access to nutritious foods.
For many New Jerseyans, access to healthy, fresh foods is simply not an option. Without ready access to a supermarket, many residents shop at corner stores which often stock low-nutritive foods high in sugar and fat. A poor diet, including those high in saturated fats, trans fat, sodium, sweets and sugar-sweetened beverages, can increase risk for heart disease and stroke according to the American Heart Association.
The New Jersey Healthy Corner Store Initiative, along with support from legislation called the Healthy Food Retailer Act (A-1877, S-1129), could make a positive health and economic impact in the Garden State. Not only do these initiatives improve access to healthy foods but they also help generate tax revenue and create jobs.
Don’t all New Jerseyans deserve access to healthy, fresh food? You can help improve the health and quality of life for New Jersey residents by encouraging your legislator to support these important bills.
Carol Gill, MD
President, New Jersey American Heart Association | American Stroke Association Board of Directors