The Healthy Food Retail Team at the Prevention Research Center for Healthy Neighborhoods (PRCHN) at CWRU developed a comprehensive resource packet for small food retailers. The packet includes important local contacts, general information about COVID-19, recommended guidelines to maintain a healthy business and resources for financial support. It was delivered to 15 corner stores within the Good Food Here Network in Cleveland in April and has since been updated with the most recent information and guidelines from CDC and USDA. It is critical that store owners have the most up-to-date and relevant information related to COVID-19 so that they can implement and maintain healthy business practices.
The PRCHN hopes that other institutions across the country working with corner stores or other small food retail businesses will find this useful for their partners. The organization is focused on fostering partnerships within low-resource neighborhoods to develop, test and implement effective strategies to prevent and reduce the burden of chronic disease.
For the last seven years, the PRCHN has served as the lead organization for the Cleveland Corner Store Initiative, which aims to build healthy food retailers in Cleveland and East Cleveland. This initiative focuses on neighborhoods where residents primarily rely on convenience or corner stores for basic food needs. The collective team provides technical assistance around marketing, product placement, distribution and procurement; it also facilitates outreach events such as health screenings and nutrition education with community partners, and connects with entrepreneurs to provide healthy grab n’ go products.