Written by Melissa Vatterott, Food and Farm Coordinator. Originally published June 2015.

Their Food Story: Stock Healthy, Shop Healthy is a comprehensive, community-based initiative that allows communities to improve access to healthy, affordable foods by working with a small food retailer.  Millions of Americans have limited access to a supermarket, which means they must rely on fast-food restaurants, gas stations, urban corner stores or rural town groceries to feed themselves and their families. Studies show that when small food retailers dedicate just an additional 3 feet of shelf space to produce, nearby residents consume an additional 0.35 servings of fruits and vegetables.1 Through Community and Retailer toolkits, assessment forms, resources and evaluation tools, Stock Healthy, Shop Healthy guides any community through a unique approach to increasing access to healthy foods that involves engaging small food retailers and community members, and thus addresses supply and demand at the same time.  Stock Healthy, Shop Healthy is based on the success of the St. Louis Healthy Corner Store Project, a joint program with the City of St. Louis Department of Health and St. Louis Development Corporation.

People Behind the Project: Kara Lubischer serves as the project director of the Stock Healthy, Shop Healthy initiative.  In this role, she oversees the implementation of the Stock Healthy, Shop Healthy program in 10 urban and rural communities across Missouri and provides grant administration.  Kate Donaldson, the Stock Healthy program manager, works one-on-one with each community and participating small food retailer and provides technical assistance and access to mini-grant funds.  In addition to Kara and Kate, the Stock Healthy team from University of Missouri Extension includes Linda Rellergert and Mary Wissmann who both provide technical assistance specific to nutrition, health education and safe food handling and storage.  Stock Healthy, Shop Healthy is funded in part by Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, who serve as key partners of the program and serve on the project team.  For more information contact Kara at lubischerk@missouri.edu.

Organization website: Stock Healthy, Shop Healthy website

1 Policy Link & Food Trust, The Grocery Gap: Who Has Access to Healthy Food and Why it Matters. 2010.