This past month, we took a huge step forward in our Healthy Corner Stores project in Miami Gardens. Not only have we completed our survey of food stores in the city and started our individual food environmental survey for residents, but we have now also started recruiting stores to the project. For this, Trudy (our President/CEO), Shirbrina (our summer intern), Tracy (representing Miami Gardens), and I spent an entire day visiting all of our target stores.
Of the more than 80 food retailers in the city, our focus is on the 15 independent retailers who already accept EBT. Despite the proliferation of national chain stores across the city, small, independent food retailers can still be found throughout Miami Gardens.
As competition has increased, many of these stores have had to find their niche. Some focus on serving specific ethnic communities with their local foods, while others have unfortunately turned to alcohol, tobacco, and unhealthy snacks. Our goal is to support these stores in refining or redefining their niche, and becoming a resource for affordable, high-quality, nutritious foods for the local community.
This way, our project balances the needs of the community with the needs of the businesses. We have been very fortunate to bring in both local and national partners to make this project successful, and to build upon best practices from similar projects across the country. This is a new direction for Florida Impact to End Hunger, and we’re excited to see where it leads!
– Sam Hopwood
Regional Director of South Florida
Florida Impact to End Hunger