Pennsylvania Healthy Corner Store Initiative
The Pennsylvania Department of Health is committed to increasing access to healthy food and beverage options and partnering with retailers on the Pennsylvania Healthy Corner Store Initiative (PA HCSI). This initiative connects store owners with resources to increase availability of healthy foods in corner stores and offer consumers fresh, nutritious food options.
The PA HCSI addresses the modifiable risk factor of poor nutrition through increasing access to healthy food and beverages to the residents of Pennsylvania by providing access to healthier food retail. Providing incentives to food retailers to offer healthier food and beverage choices is endorsed in
"Recommended Community Strategies and Measurements to Prevent Obesity in the U.S."
Corner Stores are common in the urban landscape, particularly in low-income neighborhoods. The Food Trust and Temple University's Center for Obesity Research and Education research found that corner stores tailor inventory and product displays to feature high-profit, low-nutritive snacks that appeal to children.
HCSI used the Philadelphia Healthy Corner Store Initiative model and scaled it statewide, focusing implementation of this population-based approach on the highest populated cities.
To increase access to healthy food and beverages, stores that are enrolled in HCSI choose four healthy food products, based on the
Dietary Guidelines for Americans, to maintain a stock of and to sell. Signage is displayed to guide customers toward making healthier decisions and identify HCSI stores. Educational resources will be provided to store owners on how to organize and display products to highlight healthier options, increase healthy inventory and sell healthy products to increase success. Stores may also qualify to receive modest environmental changes, such as shelving and refrigeration, to enhance display and storage of new healthy inventory and sustain the changes long-term. By partnering with community resources, selected stores throughout the commonwealth will also feature in-store nutrition education lessons and free health screenings.
Currently, more than 150 corner stores are participating in HCSI. Corner stores play a critical role in the health of many families. By working together, we can make the healthy choice, the easy, accessible choice and ultimately improve the overall health of Pennsylvanians.
Please see the interactive map for participating stores in your area: