Having famously saved an entire generation of San Francisco children from making potentially unhealthy lifestyle choices, Richmond District Supervisor Eric Mar has a new mission that will rescue San Franciscans from themselves: Getting local corner stores to stock more produce and fresh food, and less alcohol, tobacco and junk food. The latter three of which, let's face it, are the main reasons why most of us patronize corner stores.
Unlike the Happy Meal ban, Mar's proposed city ordinance doesn't outright ban anything — so that's a relief, at least. If passed, the ordinance will create the "Healthy Food Retails Incentive Program." The voluntary program is heavily focused on the Bayview, Tenderloin and Hunters Point neighborhoods where larger chain grocery stores are scarce. "Many neighborhoods don't have access to fresh food," Mar said in a press conference yesterday.
According to a study done last year by a healthy food access group, only 4 out of 19 corner stores in the Bayview stocked fresh fruits and vegetables, and even less of them carried any low-fat milk.
Due to Mar's formula retail allergy, the program aims to solve the Bayview's apparent produce shortage and diabetes problem by helping mom-and-pop operations cover the cost of redesigning their stores and getting new permits if they choose to stock more fresh produce and whole wheat bread. Mar's office and a few other groups like the Tenderloin Healthy Corner Markets Coalition are still researching the program and doing outreach with the various grocers' associations, but a pilot program has already been successful in putting produce coolers in two Bayview corner stores. A spokesperson said they hope to see how the fresh fruit affected the bottom line at those stores by the end of this year. In the meantime, there's no word on how much they expect the program to cost.
Previously: SF Supervisor Introduces Legislation Protecting Birds from Buildings
S.F. Board Of Supervisors To Waste Time Discussing Limited Grammy Categories
Here's Eric Mar on The Daily Show Discussing That Happy Meal Ban