Updates for Healthy Corners
Check out our staff on Let’s Talk Live this week, featuring our efforts to fight hunger and promote healthy eating. We’re excited to be part of this Home Cooking vs. Hunger Week. A huge thanks to Walmart and NewsChannel 8 for promoting our work.
This month marks the roll out of DC Central Kitchen’s Truck Farm, and we’re excited to be delivering our nutrition education lessons to children around the city to teach them about healthy eating and where their food comes from.
Truck Farm is exactly what it sounds like—a pick-up truck with a garden planted in its bed. Our partnership with the USDA, the United States Department of Agriculture, allows us to take the farm to the ten schools where we serve healthy school lunches in wards 5, 7, and 8. The whole idea is that kids can see, touch, and learn about healthy food in an interesting and dynamic way that will make an impact because it’s fun and different.
“Let’s go around and say our name, favorite fruit, and favorite vegetable. What’s yours?” asked Huan Song, DCCK’s Nutrition and Outreach Coordinator turning to one of the seven years olds gathered around the truck farm, parked at Thomas Elementary School in Deanwood, located in D.C.’s Ward 7.
The Truck Farm inspires the kids to come up with creative places to investigate nature, whether by growing a small plant on their window sills or even in an old can. After checking out the Truck Farm, Thomas Elementary students planted their own arugula seeds in plastic cups to start their own urban gardens.
“I’m really excited about Truck Farm’s fourth growing season,” says Huan. Like previous years, the Truck Farm educators will bring our mobile classroom to community health events, schools, and summer care programs in order to connect children with the process of growing food. In addition to our focus on nutrition education through hands on learning, the curriculum this year will also expand to integrate language arts education through our partnership with the DC Public Library.
The Truck Farm program continues to partner with DC Central Kitchen’s Healthy School Food and Healthy Corners Programs in order to reinforce our organization’s multifaceted approach to nutrition education and community empowerment. We’re excited to see where it goes next! Follow @dcck on Twitter for the latest updates.
The DC Department of Small and Local Business Development (DSLBD) is providing DC Central Kitchen with a $250,000 grant to double the number of stores participating in Healthy Corners. Healthy Corners is the first program of its kind aimed at combating food deserts and making healthier food more available in DC’s low income communities. Since 2011, DC Central Kitchen has partnered with 33 corner stores to provide fresh produce and healthy snacks at the stores, which are often the closest affordable grocery option. With the DSLBD grant, DC Central Kitchen will expand the program to 63 stores this summer.
The grant will help DC Central Kitchen continue its important work of providing the District’s underserved communities with healthy food. DC Central Kitchen has been instrumental in leveraging their resources to provide valuable services to vulnerable populations, and we are very grateful for their work.
The agency’s partnership with DC Central Kitchen began two years ago when they funded the initial rollout of the program through a six-month pilot period. The program has since worked with many partners, including DC Department of Health, CoBANK, Kaiser Permanente, Aetna, NBC Universal, Tavis Smiley-UMD, Wallace Genetic Foundation and the McGuinn Family Foundation. By providing strategic marketing support and heavily discounted product, Healthy Corners has brought DC’s corner stores into the healthy food business. In 2013, the participating stores grossed over $40,000 in sales and sold over 7,500 nutritious snacks.
Today represents a proven approach to public-private partnerships in D.C. Thanks to the Department of Small and Local Business Development, we now have the resources to expand into new neighborhoods, making healthy food more affordable and accessible to District residents.
Visit our Healthy Corners page for more information about the program.
Healthy Corners is growing! We recently welcomed Northeast Supermarket on Mt. Olivet Road, NE as our 35th Healthy Corners store.
Jin Oh, the owner of Northeast Supermarket, says that she was interested in joining Healthy Corners for three reasons: convenience, good fresh products and good prices.
I want to be able to make sure that my customers have access to fruits and vegetables here in the neighborhood. I feel like everyone likes fresh foods and we need to have them here in our store. Your program makes that easy to do.
To introduce shoppers to the Healthy Corners program and products, our partners at Zenful Bites hosted an on-site cooking demonstration, serving up a broccoli, pepper and onion stir fry, handing out samples in the parking lot.
The stir fry was a crowd pleaser and customers were happy to learn that they could now find fresh ingredients like those used along with recipes for using them in their neighborhood store.
One enthusiastic customer helped draw reluctant friends and neighbors over to the demonstration, saying, “Come here and try this if you want to learn about eating the type of food that will help you stay healthy and watch your weight,” as she helped pass out samples.
This summer we will continue to open new stores each week. Stay tuned with the latest on Healthy Corners!
What is Healthy Corners?
Healthy Corners is DC Central Kitchen’s program to provide fresh fruits and vegetables and other healthy snacks to corner stores near you.
We provide staples for healthy snacking and cooking, including: apples, bananas, grapes, greens, lemons, lettuce, onions, oranges, potatoes, squash, sweet potatoes, peppers, tomatoes, trail mix, and more.
The average price of a Healthy Corners food item is .55 cents! This can be significantly cheaper than what you’d find at a conventional supermarket. Healthy Corners makes eating healthy convenient and affordable.
Check out this map for the nearest Healthy Corners store location.
Healthy Corners Products
Check out these delicious fresh products for sale in participating stores. More to come!
Your store can be part of the healthy food movement by joining Healthy Corners, DC Central Kitchen’s program to bring affordable and convenient fresh produce and healthy snacks to your neighborhood. Healthy Corners provides many benefits to participating stores:
- Provide fresh fruits, vegetables and healthy snacks to the community at affordable prices
- Help to improve the health and well-being of customers by giving them more options to choose healthy food
- Develop and enhance relationships with neighborhood customers who have limited access to affordable, nutritious food
- Receive fresh produce at low cost through DC Central Kitchen’s extensive purchasing network including relationships with local farms
- Set the standard that corner stores can be a great place to sell affordable, healthy food.
Use this form to inquire about bringing Healthy Corners to your store.