by Sam Hieb
N&R reports Greensboro City Council set aside $1 million for the Fresh Food Access Plan—instead of putting it on a proposed bond for the November ballot.
Never mind the real reason–it wouldn’t pass—but if it did:
Even if the bond were to pass, the city probably wouldn’t have set aside the “food desert” money until the 2017-18 budget.
Hungry people shouldn’t have to wait that long, council members said.
No but hungry people can wait for a report, staff discussion, council discussion, council vote, put out bids to manage the money, make sure there’s adequate MWBE participation, etc. etc. etc.
But that’s beside the point— neither is the fact that the Fresh Food Access Plan “does not contain recommendations for helping feed people with immediate needs.” With that in mind, here’s one of the plan’s recommendations:
: One approach that has been tried in many cities is to encourage existing retailers, typically convenience stores, to carry fresh produce in addition to the normal offerings. Cities working to increase access to healthy food frequently focus on this approach. Not all such stores are willing to participate, but the Guilford County Department of Health has worked to identify stores that may be interested in
Cities that have tried to encourage convenience stores to carry produce have met limited results in changing the eating habits of residents; results from existing programs in other cities suggest that they work better when paired with educational outreach to consumers and neighborhoods. A variety of toolkits have been put together to help the programs have an impact on the eating habits of residents. The programs that are successful include education and a partnership between the community and the stores.
Here in tony Fisher Park, I’ve got a Dunkin Donuts and two convenience stores half a block from me. And yes one of the convenience stores is owned by an immigrant proprietor and yes I would definitely say his store is part of the community—we know each other by name, and I’m constantly running into friends there.
But he knows what his customers want—beer, wine and cigarettes. Put in a big-arse walk-in cooler–32 degrees—-while the bananas sat on the shelf turning brown. No outreach necessary.