This paper presents the experiences and lessons learned from small food store interventions in four U.S. cities – Baltimore, Md.; Minneapolis, Minn.; Burlington, N.C.; and Philadelphia, Pa. Experiences from these four communities indicate that small store interventions face a variety of challenges that impact feasibility, acceptability, and long-term success. Particularly challenging issues included: understanding and accommodating the complex dynamic between program staff, store owners/managers, and customers; choosing appropriate interventions that met the needs of each community; balancing sustainability with the need for ongoing support; and identifying effective mechanisms for sharing successes and lessons learned. Lessons learned across seven thematic areas are discussed in detail. The authors conclude that while increasing access to healthy foods in small stores is viable, interventionists and researchers working in this area must focus as much effort on increasing customer demand for healthy products as they do on improving store supply of these products for such interventions to be successful.
Lessons Learned from Small Store Programs to Increase Healthy Food Access
Recent trends in food insecurity in the United States parallel population increases in obesity. Historically, food insecurity and obesity have been viewed as distinct public health issues. However, since the mid-1990s, there has been growing interest in understanding the seemingly paradoxical relationship between these two issues. In this paper, the … More
Evaluating the implementation and impact of a healthier checkout programme at a regional convenience store chain
This study aimed to test the feasibility of implementing and evaluating a healthier checkout pilot study in a convenience store chain in New Hampshire. A quasi-experimental study was conducted comparing a 3-month ‘healthier checkouts’ intervention in ten convenience stores which stocked eight healthier items in the checkout space and ten … More
The USDA Online Purchasing Pilot, which allows SNAP participants to shop and pay for groceries online, rapidly expanded during the COVID-19 pandemic. From March 2020 to March 2021, the number of participating states increased from 5 to 47. This brief assesses whether the Pilot promotes healthy food access (using the … More