April Storeowner Training covered in Los Angeles Streetsblog

The Healthy Neighborhood Market Network April storeowner training  was featured in Los Angeles Streetsblog.

April 29, 2013 Boyle Heights — Esther Park at the Healthy Neighborhood Market Network storeowner training. Photo by LA Streetsblog.

The Spanish language focused storeowner training, held in Boyle Heights on Tuesday, April 29th, offered independent storeowners with the skills and resources needed to become a healthy food retailer. The training is part of the Healthy Neighborhood Market Network storeowner training series.

Save the Date: On Saturday, August 3rd, 2013, the Healthy Neighborhood Market Network presents a full-day, language accessible storeowner training with workshops run by industry experts.

Check out the article in Los Angeles Streetsblog by clicking here or on the photo above. Read more about the Healthy Neighborhood Market Network here!

Intersections South LA follows storeowner Gus Harris Jr.’s progress through the CMC program

The Community Market Conversion program has drawn the attention of Intersections South LA, a local community news platform supported by the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.

A recently published article profiles storeowner Gus Harris Jr., who operates Oak’s Junior Market in Jefferson Park and is participating in the Community Market Conversion program to transform his store.

Gus Harris Jr. lives and works in Jefferson Park. Photo by Intersections South LA.

Gus Harris Jr. lives and works in Jefferson Park. Photo by Intersections South LA.

From the article:

Though South L.A. has about half the number of full-service grocery stores per capita than West L.A., according to Community Health Councils Inc., [Clare] Fox said the idea is not just to bring big retailers to the neighborhood.“It’s basically investing in the [area’s] existing food retail landscape,” she said.

Harris knows his small store might never compete with the big names, but hopes converting his store will make him a convenient, healthy resource to his neighbors.

“[Customers] will come in and they will buy a candy bar or they will buy a bag of chips,” Harris said, “We would like to replace those candy bars and bags of chips with a fresh apple or a fresh orange.”

Click here or on the image above to read the full story online!

“Understanding Grocery Purchasing” paper published

Anne Palmer, Program Director at Eating for the Future, recently published some fascinating research on how families make grocery shopping decisions in a low-income environment. The paper, titled “A Framework for Understanding Grocery Purchasing in a Low-Income Environment”  was published in Qualitative Health Research this February.

Here’s more about the article from Anne:

In our recently published paper, we asked low-income families about how they ate, cooked and shopped for their families, and how they thought that supermarkets could make it easier for them to make healthier food choices. From 33 in-depth interviews and three focus groups, we found that external and internal factors shape shoppers’ decisions. While our research participants consistently understood and valued healthy eating concepts, their purchases did not reflect what they valued.

Not surprisingly, people were most concerned about being able to provide sufficient quantity of food for their families and still stay within their budget. In other words, keeping hunger at bay was the Number One concern. But there were other concerns as well, such as food spoilage, the cost of travel to the stores, and food waste that results from trying new foods that are then rejected by family members. These concerns translated to strategies such as comparing sale papers, deciding if the additional travel cost is worth the price differential, using coupons, watching for sales and promotions, buying in bulk when possible, shopping at several stores but also calculating the cost of returning items in the event they spoil early, selecting non-perishables, and limiting purchases to familiar foods. All this happens before shoppers walk in the door.

Read Anne’s blog post about her research here. The paper, “A Framework for Understanding Grocery Purchasing in a Low-Income Environment,” is downloadable through the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health here.