New program brings healthcare to your corner store

PHILADELPHIA - March 28, 2014

Just this week, a new report was issued naming Philadelphia County as one of the unhealthiest counties in the state.

One of the factors is that it is difficult to find healthy food in some areas.

So a new program is trying to fix that, and they are also bringing doctors and nurses right into the neighborhood. The Food Trust is bringing heart health screenings right into corner stores.

Canemo Grocery in North Philadelphia say a steady stream of area residents getting blood pressure checks and more right in the aisles.

Doctors and nurses from Jefferson's urban health program say they can't fight heart disease by relying on people to come to them, they also have to go to people.

"I can think of no better place than a corner store in the neighborhood, unannounced, where folks come to have a nice conversation in a place they are comfortable with," said Dr. Jim Plumb, Jefferson Center for Urban Health.

And along with blood pressure checks, a Food Trust educator also shows how to make healthy dishes with ingredients in the store.

The Canemo Grocery has been part of the 'healthy corner store' program for 3 years. Owners received a refrigerator to stock more fresh produce and healthy drinks.

The program is also inspiring store owners and staff to get involved to improve their own health.

"I have high cholesterol and high pressure, and I need to do it," said Bienmentita Jimenez.

"We had an owner, together, everyone that worked in the store went on a diet and eating healthier and they all lost like 20 pounds together," said Maria Venegas, Food Trust Nutrition Educator.

The program is done once a month in five stores now with others being added in the future.

And other cities around the country are now copying Philadelphia's "healthy corner store" program.

Doctors will be referring patients if they need extra care.

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