Minneapolis cuts back program to bring fresh food to small city stores

  • Article by: Maya Rao , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 23, 2014 - 6:48 AM

After ambitious effort to boost healthy eating shows mixed results, Minneapolis is scaling back the program.

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karb0013Feb. 22, 1410:53 PM

So taxpayers are paying for local corner stores to get produce but local corner store owners are close to grocery stores that sell produce cheaper? Mmmmkk

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texas_technomanFeb. 23, 14 5:39 AM

People don't go to convenience stores for produce, they go for junk food...I'm all for healthy eating; but I think this goes a bit too far.

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fuhrmannFeb. 23, 14 6:39 AM

An experiment in social manipulation gone wrong. Supposedly to bring fresh produce to areas without it available but only supporting those with a major store in the area. Guess what, you can put produce there but that doesn't change the diets of people who don't want it.

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jbpaperFeb. 23, 14 7:20 AM

One thing most of these corner stores have in common, they all prominently advertise that they accept EBT and WIC. If these programs are suppose to help the poor afford nutritious foods and the stores are selling very little nutritious foods, what are these people spending the money on? If you want to see results, link the acceptance of government food programs, such as WIC and SNAP, with the selling of produce.

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essdee09Feb. 23, 14 8:16 AM

It's easy to draw the wrong conclusion from this article and the effort to get fresh food in front of people. ------ Fresh food has a fairly short shelf life, even if it's refrigerated or packaged. That alone makes it more expensive to sell and more of a risk to buy. Fresh food also often requires preparation. You can't just grab a potato out of a bin and have a snack or make it part of dinner. But a bag of chips? Painless. No special storage, no deadline to eat it, just open the bag. ------ And then there's science. You don't think Lay's or Mars have figured out that humans like to eat fat and salt and design their products to exploit those preferences? ------ I'm not defending junk food. Just saying that the situation is too complicated to assume that people will choose a wrinkled mealy old apple over a donut just because the apple is sitting there.

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kenndog54usaFeb. 23, 14 8:17 AM

So snacks are easier than produce, so they get fat, can't afford insurance, we get stuck for the hospital bills.

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Fair ViewFeb. 23, 14 8:25 AM

Sounds like a terrible idea that didn't wasn't that visible to the taxpayers.

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fairplay2277Feb. 23, 14 8:28 AM

Would be nice if the article mentioned exactly how much money WE are spending per store for this social experiment. Of course this is just another government overreach and another stab at social engineering that our socialists enjoy so much and it is not a shock that it failed, miserably, like virtually all socialist experiments do. But don't look at it as $29,000 wasted, look at it as a whole lot more money wasted - guess who pays the salaries of the genius's that came up with this plan? Plus these people have admins and interns and health insurance and pensions we all get to pay for as well. But boy, it sure looks good on paper because "we are going to teach the poverty stricken how to eat healthy!"

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FrankLFeb. 23, 14 8:29 AM

This program is getting the same outcome as the school system, you can spend lots of money and still get no results. My guess is if the produce was free, it would still sit on the shelves. You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink.

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heckyousayFeb. 23, 14 8:42 AM

I worked in a chain convenience store in north Minneapolis many years ago - coming from a grocery background, I tried to bring a small selection of fresh produce into a few stores, with predictable results. Not only were our prices high, because our wholesaler was focused on the convenience market, not regular grocery, but the eating habits of our low income customers tended to focus on pre-packaged, highly processed foods. I remember the streams of schoolkids coming thru in the morning to buy their breakfast of a coke and a couple snickers bars, passing over and looking at the apples and bananas I had on prominent display like they were something from outer space. The few people who came in and were interested in fresh offerings were shocked at the prices we were asking. Convenience stores and their customers are all about junk food and cigarettes. Fresh and healthy food is just too complicated in this environment.

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