Buffalo Healthy Corner Store Initiative
The concept of the Healthy Corner Store Initiative is to incentivize and educate store owners and the community alike to change the way they view “healthy”. For store owners, we want them to be more conscious of the health implications of the items they carry in their store and encourage them to stock healthier options. For residents, we would like them to be aware of the benefits of healthy eating and recognize that there are places in their neighborhood to shop healthy.
HCSI is a collaborative partnership that grew out of a community report presented by the John R. Oishei Foundation’s Mobile Safety Net Team. The report made recommendations for increasing access to fresh, healthy foods in the city of Buffalo and a coalition was created in order to address that issue. Currently, 16 partners collaborate on the Healthy Corner Store Initiative taking leadership from Cornell Cooperative Extension of Erie County (CCE Erie) and the HCSI Coordinator. Our lab has been an active partner in the HCSI coalition from the inception of the program. In the past, UB has led evaluation efforts in the form of store owner interviews, healthy food inventories, and customer surveys. We have also developed evidence-based program implementation toolkits and assisted with store trainings.