Metro Government’s fight against food deserts continued Friday.
Food deserts are areas where fresh produce is hard to find and purchase. To eliminate them, Metro Government has sponsored the “Healthy in a Hurry” program, which uses federal grant dollars to help grocery and convenience stores stock fruits and vegetables.
The first location was unveiled a year and a half ago at a Smoketown convenience store. The second location opened this week in a Shawnee grocery store.
Josh Jennings with the Center for Health Equity says six more stores will open in the next eighteen months.
“We’re looking at another store right now in Park Hill. We haven’t determined whether we’re going to move forward with that store. We’re doing that assessment phase: surveying, doing focus groups. From that point on we’ll do another assessment of about ten to twenty stores at-large that we haven’t visited yet,”” he says.
Jennings says stores the assessments cover a range of issues.
“How big is the store? How much foot traffic does it have? How safe is it? How family-friendly is it? What’s the community buy-in? And then asking the store owner, do you accept food stamps, do you accept WIC, are you trying to be community friendly, community engaged?” he says.
Jennings further says the first Healthy in a Hurry store is doing well.
“She posted record sales in June,” he says. “$730 in sales in June. She posted record profits in July—made about $100 in profit. It’s not a lot, but of course it’s all about volume, and at the end of the day, how much money can you make? They’re going to make a lot more profit on cigarettes and beer and lottery.”
For more on where Louisville’s food deserts are, visit The Edit.