With A Little Help, San Francisco's Bodegas Are Getting Healthier

“Small investments can go a long way toward creating healthier and more sustainable communities.”

Residents of low-income neighborhoods often lack access to nutritious fruits and vegetables, but a new initiative in San Francisco is successfully bringing fresh foods to one of the city's "food deserts." As NationSwell's Chris Peak writes, the new program is successfully bringing healthier food options to the city's troubled Tenderloin district. 

The San Francisco Mayor's Office, the Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD), and the Department of Public Health collaborated to create Healthy Retail SF, which invested $60,000 into five locally owned stores in areas where healthy foods are scarce. 

Thus far, the initiative has proved successful. According to Peak, one store has increased overall sales by 23 percent since receiving assistance. And all five stores have reported increased fruit sales.

Backers of the program credit its success to a mix of community engagement, effective redesign, and business development. As Joaquin Torres, OEWD’s deputy director,  told Peak, “Small investments can go a long way toward creating healthier and more sustainable communities.”  


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