Healthy Corner Stores in Sonoma County: Healthy Food, Strong Partnerships, Good Policy
2013 | Download
Poor food access is a major contributor to health disparities, high rates of disease and other health problems in low income communities. Transforming corner stores into healthy food outlets can be a viable strategy in a community’s toolbox to eliminate food deserts, and it can also be an important part of neighborhood revitalization efforts in coordination with local planning and economic development.
In June 2012, as part of an economic development strategy, the City of Santa Rosa in Sonoma County, California, changed its General Plan and Zoning Code to create jobs and bring fresh food choices to more neighborhoods. Increasing the availability of healthy food as part of an economic development strategy did not originate in Sonoma County, but the work of the county’s Healthy Food Outlet Project, its challenges, successes, partnerships and leadership, can shed light on how health departments and local governments can forge partnerships that lead to healthier and more economically viable communities.