STOCKTON, CA – “One-third (1/3) of adults and 17 percent of children in the United States are obese,” states a release by LaCresia Hawkins, Community Partnership for Families/CUFF FRC as she explains that “the problem is growing and even more severe amongst low-income families, and while rising costs and affordability of wholesome food are part of the problem, there are other factors at work.”
Low income neighborhoods are typically challenged by lack of major grocery stores, transportation challenges, and inadequate consumer education about nutrition and food choices.
In Stockton, a low-income neighborhood is taking steps to improve this situation. The Dorothy L. Jones Community and Health Center/CUFF FRC, a non-profit community service organization in South Stockton, is working with residents and local businesses to increase healthy food availability through neighborhood stores.
During the past year, CUFF FRC, community residents, and M & M Market at 1804 E. 8th Street have partnered to enable the store to stock fresh fruits and vegetables, which is now set to start on November 5. In conjunction with neighborhood residents, the store owner agreed to improve the appeal of the produce section.
The Dorothy L. Jones Center receives funding from the California Endowment to participate in the Central California Regional Obesity Prevention Program (CCROPP). Program activities include resident education, neighborhood surveying and assessment, advocacy for policy change, and work with the community and neighborhood stores to develop an improvement plan focusing on marketing of healthy choices and establishing a healthy environment.
This CCROPP project in San Joaquin County plans to expand and would like to develop partnerships with other stores in the area. “It’s a ‘win-win’ situation,” said Hawkins.
Those interested in knowing more about the project are encouraged to contact LaCresia Hawkins at (209) 444-5514.