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Proyecto MercadoFRESCO: A Multi-level, Community-Engaged Corner Store Intervention in East Los Angeles and Boyle Heights

  • Author(s): Ortega, AN
  • Albert, SL
  • Sharif, MZ
  • Langellier, BA
  • Garcia, RE
  • Glik, DC
  • Brookmeyer, R
  • Chan-Golston, AM
  • Friedlander, S
  • Prelip, ML
  • et al.
Abstract

© 2014, Springer Science+Business Media New York. Urban food swamps are typically situated in low-income, minority communities and contribute to overweight and obesity. Changing the food landscape in low income and underserved communities is one strategy to combat the negative health consequences associated with the lack of access to healthy food resources and an abundance of unhealthy food venues. In this paper, we describe Proyecto MercadoFRESCO (Fresh Market Project), a corner store intervention project in East Los Angeles and Boyle Heights in California that used a multi-level approach with a broad range of community, business, and academic partners. These are two neighboring, predominantly Latino communities that have high rates of overweight and obesity. Located in these two communities are approximately 150 corner stores. The project used a community-engaged approach to select, recruit, and convert four corner stores, so that they could become healthy community assets in order to improve residents’ access to and awareness of fresh and affordable fruits and vegetables in their immediate neighborhoods. We describe the study framework for the multi-level intervention, which includes having multiple stakeholders, expertise in corner store operations, community and youth engagement strategies, and social marketing campaigns. We also describe the evaluation and survey methodology to determine community and patron impact of the intervention. This paper provides a framework useful to a variety of public health stakeholders for implementing a community-engaged corner store conversion, particularly in an urban food swamp.

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