Niagara Gazette — Barker and her fellow community educator in the project, Natalie Cook, say they plan to record what’s being sold, how much it sells for and how much goes to waste. That way they can adjust what is being offered the next week.
Aside from the fresh produce experiment, the Creating Healthy Places grant has a few other objectives. Among them is to create more healthy and safe places for people to engage in simple physical activities like walking.
Barker and Cook say they plan to do this by trying to influence people to make changes, by trying to influence policy makers to make changes and by promoting the use and maintenance of walking paths.
“We’ve been collaborating with Greenprint Niagara,” said Cook. “They have a vacant space on Main Street along the Historic Trail that is being revamped so that it’s a safe and inviting place with pathways and gardens and stuff like that.”
Since the experiment just started, and they don’t know how it’s going to turn out, Cornell Cooperative Extension doesn’t have any certain plans for the future of the project. At this point it’s a game of wait and see.
“If this goes over well that would definitely boost the possibility of more people being interested in this (experiment),” said Cook. “We’ve spoken to 20 to 30 store owners about what they think about the project and fresh food and the demand for it and I’d say there’s a variety of opinions on how that would go.”
Barker believes that if the produce is more available to customers and right in front of them they might be more temped to grab a piece of fruit instead of a candy bar on their way through the check-out line.
“It’s a lifestyle, and people are going to eat what they want,” said Barker. “We have to encourage people to change for themselves and if they don’t want to change for themselves they aren’t going to change.”