“SCCA is a dynamic organization that is responsive to the business community.”
SCCA Member: Suzanne Weinstein, Coastal Seafoods

Creating Healthy Communities

 Staple foods2

Background:

Each day in Minneapolis, less than one third of adults actually consume their recommended servings of fruits and vegetables. In light of the existing health disparities among low-income areas and communities of color – who experience disproportionately higher rates of obesity and other chronic health conditions – public health is a high priority for the City of Minneapolis. Some of the factors associated with these disparities include: transportation barriers, higher prices of fresh and healthy foods, an overabundance of cheap unhealthy food, and lack of education around diet and nutrition.

In these low-income communities, there is an increased reliance on corner stores and other non-traditional grocery stores for basic staple foods. The Staple Foods Ordinance helps address the issue of accessible healthy (staple) foods by increasing the standards of food options at neighborhood corner stores and convenience stores. The underlying factor for all of the above is the lack overall access to the knowledge and resources associated with having a healthy and nutritious diet.

Staple Foods.jpg

In order to sustain a steady and profitable supply of these healthy foods, there must be an informed community that will create the demand for the products. Business owners have a difficult time selling the healthy foods they are required to carry because the people in their communities are not used to purchasing fresh produce and nutritious foods from those particular stores.

The City states that it will address this issue through community educational and outreach efforts, specifically…
The Minneapolis Code of Ordinances Title 10, Chapter 203 currently requires licensed grocery stores to stock a minimum amount of basic food items for sale, including fruits, vegetables, bread, dairy, and meat products. However, the city is considering changing the current ordinance to increase access to healthy foods and ensure that ALL stores that sell grocery items are held to consistent standards.

Proposed Changes

Proposed changes to the ordinance would expand the number of required staple food categories, set minimum quantities and varieties for each category, and clarify exemption criteria across all types of stores. Strengthening the city’s current ordinance would help ensure that everyone has access to healthy food choices no matter where they shop.

The Minneapolis City Council will hold a public hearing to gather feedback on the proposed changes on Monday, October 20, 2014 at 1:30pm in City Hall Room 317 (Council Chambers). For more information, please contact: cam.gordon@minneapolismn.gov.

 

 

 

 

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