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Healthy food options come to New Jersey town's bodegas

Amy Freeze with the story from Irvington, NJ.
May 9, 2014 2:03:14 PM PDT
Six neighborhood stores opened Friday, starting a new campaign to offer residents healthy food options and to put fresh fruit at the fingertips of people living in parts of Irvington.

The city's health department set up fruit stands inside corner stores using city grant money. The goal of the initiative is to provide residents with healthy food options and to give store owners an incentive to provide healthy food choices.

The mayor of Irvington, N.J., Wayne Smith was at the openings. "We hope people are eating correctly and more conscientiously choose these items because of the health problems that affect urban neighborhoods. We think making these changes we will see subtle shifts in cultural habits," he said.

Nurse Tonya Moore, who works for the city's health department, said hopefully this will help prevent childhood obesity.

Local teachers shopping this corner store were optimistic at the alternative. Lisa Hantman, of Jersey City said, "to have that option is important; before it was candy."

Irvington resident Antonio Scott's wife normally has to travel to get their family fruit.

"To have apples, bananas and oranges close is better. Because I live across the street and closer is better," Scott said.

Right now, six bodegas have the healthy options, but these corner stores were chosen for a particular reason, according to Smith. "We know these stores are frequented by school children. We want them to get the visual of a nice stand [and] to choose fruit versus what they would normally chose."

The city of Irvington hopes the store owners will see a demand and eventually expand the healthy options as part of their inventory

Here are the locations:

R&R Grocery and Deli, 623 Stuyvesant Ave. Irvington, NJ 07111 Parkway Grocery, 476 Union Ave. Irvington, NJ 07111 D&S Grocery, 54 Florence Ave. Irvington, NJ 07111 Minaja Super Market, 299 Myrtle Ave. Irvington, NJ 07111 Pochy's Deli Grocery, 1345 Springfield Ave. Irvington, NJ 07111 Sandra Grocery & Deli/Jenifer Supermarket, 458 Nye Ave. Irvington, NJ 07111

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