Bodegas and Healthy Food in The Bronx? You Betcha

A new ad campaign is pushing healthy foods that some bodegas are selling in The Bronx up front and center.

The Bodega Partners Workgroup, which arose from an original partnership between Montefiore Health System, BronxWorks, and Bronx Health Reach who started the Healthy Bodega Initiative two years ago, is now working to combat the oversaturation of ad campaigns for sugary drinks in out neighborhoods.

The Mott Haven Herald reports:

“The Bronx Bodega Partners Workgroup, as the new coalition calls itself, recently launched “Don’t stress, eat fresh,” with the objective of encouraging Bronxites to eat salads, yogurt and other nutritious food, with ads that say, for example “Live Longer, Be Stronger”, and social media ads, shirts, caps, and events.

The coalition’s goal all along has been to fight two familiar scourges in the neighborhood, obesity and diabetes. According to health department data from 2015, Mott Haven and Melrose had more obese residents than any other neighborhood in the city, with 33 percent, compared with 24% citywide.The local diabetes rate was 15% that year, compared with the citywide average of 10%, according to the DOH.”

With bodegas practically at every corner in some parts of The Bronx, the city, state, and federal government should be providing tax incentives to these businesses that are more than just corner stores.

They are part of an existing infrastructure that provides food, albeit not the most nutritious in general, and can really provide better access to healthy food forany Bronxites who need it.

Imagine every bodega offering veggies and salads to provide a choice between the stuff that’s making our people sick?

When you give folks a choice, at the very least you’re exposing them to healthier habits which, if picked up, may lead to better health outcomes.

Read the full story over at The Mott Haven Herald.

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Ed García Conde

Ed García Conde is a life-long Bronxite who spends his time documenting the people, places, and things that make the borough a special place in the hopes of dispelling the negative stereotypes associated with The Bronx. His writings are often cited by mainstream media and is often consulted for his expertise on the borough's rich history.