Good food is good business.
That's one of the reasons why Neighborhood Ventures and the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine have teamed up on an exciting community project, with the generous financial support of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. Project FIT Healthy Corner Stores is a business development initiative to increase access to healthy foods in the neighborhoods surrounding Buchanan, Campus, Cesar E. Chavez and Dickinson elementary schools. With a focus on participating neighborhood food markets, NV will work hand in hand with store owners to show them that increasing the variety of healthy food options they offer benefit not only the neighborhood, but more importantly their business bottom line. Program funds may be used to purchase necessary equipment for stocking healthy food selections, as well as customer education and marketing materials to promote choices that are good for you.
A vibrant Grand Rapids neighborhood begins with access to quality and affordable food. In increasing the selection of foods found of neighborhood corner and grocery stores, NV will build the sustainability of our neighborhoods by enhancing existing businesses. The implications of these efforts are tremendous - more dollars circulating in the neighborhood, increased physical health of residents, stronger businesses financially, and increased access to wholesome food options for all of us.
We are honored to have Wealthy Market and La Tapatia launch the pilot portion of the Project FIT Healthy Corner Stores initiative and commend them for their commitment. Through increased partnerships and support, we hope to expand the program to up to a half a dozen stores through the end of spring, and beyond as funding is secured.
It's where we live. It's where we eat. So as the Project FIT slogan says - Ready, Set, Get Fit! And we are doing just that - the Grand Rapids neighborhood way.
Mark C. Lewis