Virginia Health Food Store
The Healthy Corner Store Initiative (HCSI), funded in part by the Virginia Department of Health, is a program that is aimed at improving access to healthy foods within underserved communities across the Commonwealth. Through this initiative community partners, corner store owners, and local farmers work together to bring fresh fruits and vegetables into neighborhood stores within areas that are designated by the USDA as “food deserts.”*
The U.S. Department of Agriculture defines “food deserts” as areas where most residents cannot access affordable and nutritious food. They are usually found in impoverished areas lacking grocery stores, farmers markets, and healthy food providers. Food deserts contribute to food insecurity, which means often people aren’t sure where their food will come from. The lack of healthy affordable food also promotes poor nutrition and often leads to obesity and other chronic health conditions such as diabetes and heart disease.