March 2, 2015; The Atlantic
D.C. Central Kitchen, a nonprofit described on its website as “America’s leader in reducing hunger with recycled food, training unemployed adults for culinary careers, serving healthy school meals, and rebuilding urban food systems through social enterprise,” has started a Healthy Corners program to expand the fruit and vegetables offerings in corner stores across the District. The article in the Atlantic reports:
“According to the D.C. Central Kitchen’s calculations, 88 percent of food retailers in the District sell mostly junk food or processed food. Two hundred thousand of the District’s residents live in an area where the closest grocery store is three times further away than the closest fast-food or convenience store.”
The Healthy Corners program allows corner stores to buy produce at lower prices than normally would be the case with smaller fruit and vegetable orders. The program uses D.C. Central Kitchen trucks to distribute food bought from local farms.
As someone who has been involved in this type of project before, I understand the difficulty and reluctance associated with behavioral change. “Farm to Corner Store” was a project that I attempted, with the help of community partners, to get off the ground about six years ago in Flint, Michigan. With one functioning grocery store within the city limits, we were determined to help residents make better food choices—and meet them where they shop.
My experience was very much like the one had at Thom