The Healthy Community Store Initiative (HCSI) is a collaborative partnership that grew out of a community report presented by the John R. Oishei Foundation’s Mobile Safety Net Team. The report made recommendations for increasing access to fresh, healthy foods in the city of Buffalo and a coalition was created in order to address that issue.
The concept of the HCSI is to incentivize and educate store owners and the community alike to change the way they view “healthy”. For store owners, we want them to be more conscious of the health implications of the items they carry in their store and encourage them to stock healthier options. For residents, we would like them to be aware of the benefits of healthy eating and recognize that there are places in their neighborhood to shop healthy.
The HCSI is a true collaborative effort. Currently 16 partners collaborate on the Healthy Corner Store Initiative and the HCSI Coordinator is a staff member of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Erie County (CCE Erie).Each organization brings their own expertise and resources and has a role on one of three HCSI communities, program development, community relations and store owner support.