BUILDING HEALTHY MILITARY COMMUNITIES TOOLKIT

A RESOURCE FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE HEALTH PROVIDERS AND COMMUNITIES

Young black man purchasing a drink at a small store

Convenience Store Policies

Rural areas and underinvested urban neighborhoods often lack access to supermarkets and residents tend to rely primarily on small stores for their food purchases. These small stores (e.g., corner stores, convenience stores, tiendas, bodegas, drug stores or pharmacies, general stores, dollar stores, small markets, small groceries, and gas stations) often stock items that have long shelf lives and are in high demand, such as prepackaged processed foods, sodas, snacks, and alcohol. They are less likely to carry healthy foods, such as fruits and vegetables, whole grain foods, and low-fat dairy products.

The Small Store section of CDC’s Healthier Food Retail Action Guide provides tools and strategies for targeting these often overlooked sources of food. CDC follows this guide by highlighting how states and communities are implementing the action guide in Current Practices in Healthy Food Retail: Small Stores.

What you can do:

  • Work with community organizations to share the Food Trust’s Why Sell Healthy Food? Stocking More Healthy Foods Could Mean Better Business for You.
  • Facilitate peer-to-peer networking events to develop or strengthen collaboration with small store networks or associations. Small store owners who have successfully incorporated healthier foods and beverages into their stores can become skilled peer-to-peer trainers because they understand common concerns and can share how they have overcome challenges.
  • Convene or consult with state level administrators of WIC and SNAP to explore the possibility for expansion of these programs into more small stores.

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