Niagara Gazette


February 10, 2013

Making the Falls healthier -- one apple at a time

Niagara Gazette — Fresh produce is now available at a Niagara Street corner store in an effort by a local health initiative to encourage neighborhood shoppers to buy healthy foods.

That means this week there is fresh produce at the Bridgeway Market on Niagara Street and Memorial Parkway.

The effort is part of a state sponsored program in the Niagara Falls designed to help make the city healthier by creating an environment that encourages people to be more psychically active and adopt a diet rich in fresh produce.

Creating Healthy Places to Live, Work and Play is a grant program led by Cornell Cooperative Extension of Niagara County and funded by the New York State Department of Health. Part of the grant is an experiment to see what happens if convenience stores began to carry and advertise fresh fruit and vegetables in their stores.

According to Jennifer Grier of the Cornell Cooperative Extension, many of the small corner stores in the area are afraid to carry fresh produce because if it doesn’t sell it will go bad and they will lose money.

“We want to find out if there’s a want or a need for produce in corner stores,” said Katie Barker, a community educator for Cornell Cooperative Extension of Niagara County. “So we’ll do this for eight weeks and every Monday we’ll bring in a basket with fresh fruit and see if people are buying it.”

On Monday morning, Bridgeway Market became the first store to take part in the initiative by allowing a basket of produce to be displayed on their front counter and by hanging a sign on the door advertising it.

“It feels good to be doing this,” said Bridgeway Market owner Saeed Alsaid. “There needs to be more people doing this. More people who want to help businesses with nothing in return.” He also added that the project encourages him, as he has always wanted to do, to add produce to the store.

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