Grantee Blog

Jersey City Expands Its Healthy Corner Store Network

This fall, the Jersey City Department of Health & Human Services (JCHHS) added three stores to its network of Healthy Corner Stores. The three stores located in the underserved neighborhoods of Bergen-Lafayette and Greenville are Los Montones, M & M Grocery and Deli, and Best Supermarket.

JCHHS held kick-off events in collaboration with the American Heart Association, NJ SNAP-Ed, the Jersey City Medical Center, and the Hispanic American Commerce Association (HACA). Each event featured cooking demos, nutrition and wellness education, and health screenings.  Community members received “Bodega Bucks,” a cash value voucher, which could be used to purchase heart-healthy foods, including fresh fruits and vegetables, no sugar added drinks, and whole grain products.

Through our partnership with the NJ SNAP-Ed program, each store also receives eight weekly “Heart Smarts” workshops. The workshops engage customers in brief and interactive lessons on topics such as increasing whole grain and fruit and vegetable consumption. Customers who participate in the workshops also receive “Bodega Bucks.”

To date, the kick-off events and the weekly “Heart Smarts” workshops have involved more than 300 Jersey City residents, and more than $1800 worth of “Bodega Bucks” have been redeemed.

This initiative would not be possible without the active engagement of the corner store owners themselves.   “I am excited to be partnering with the City of Jersey City in joining the Healthy Corner Store Network,” said M&M Grocery and Deli store owner, Wilson Martines. “It is important for me to make sure that I am providing healthier options to my customers and helping make an impact on my community.”

Shelf by shelf, aisle-by-aisle, more corner stores in Jersey City are making great strides to transform our neighborhoods.

About the Grantee

Jersey City Department of Health

The Jersey City Department of Health and Human Services is a public agency that strives to build a culture of health. Through the department’s nine divisions, this multi-purpose public health agency provides services is driven by a "Health In All Policies" approach. The Division of Food & Nutrition seeks to reduce hunger and food insecurity and increase the consumption of healthier foods.