Community in Action
Examples of programs, policies, and tools in action.

Bridgeport Works to Improve Fresh Food Access in Corner Stores

June 7, 2017

In some areas, corner stores are the only retail food option accessible to nearby residents. Working with corner stores to carry more fresh produce and other healthier food options is one strategy to increase access to healthy foods in food deserts and low income neighborhoods. Five years ago, the City of Bridgeport’s Health Department, working with Southern Connecticut State University and community groups, held a series of meetings with residents of their East End neighborhood to determine the community’s most pressing health concerns. Topping the list was the lack of access to fresh foods, particularly fruits and vegetables. Bridgeport is trying to change that, in part through its Healthy Corner Store Initiative.

Planning and development of the Healthy Corner Store Initiative began in 2010; Bridgeport Health Department launched the initiative in 2014. From 2014 to the summer of 2015, participating stores reported a 500 percent increase in produce sales. Bridgeport Health Department plans to conduct an assessment in 2017 to share how produce sales are doing more recently.

Bridgeport, CT is a 2015 RWJF Culture of Health Prize winner. Read more about this effort and other aspects of their work. To connect with Bridgeport Department of Health and Social Services, contact Maritza Bond, Director of Health, at [email protected].

Communities in Action provide examples of strategies or tools in action. Their purpose is to connect like-minded communities in their implementation efforts, giving insight into how others are tackling key challenges and what they've accomplished. To learn more about the evidence supporting this strategy's effectiveness or resources to help move towards implementation, see the What Works for Health summary of Healthy food in convenience stores.

Date added: June 7, 2017