Statewide Grant Brings Healthier Options To Baltimore Food Deserts (CBS)

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BALTIMORE (WJZ)–  The Baltimore City Health Department announced a $150,000 state grant to expand the “Baltimarket” program, making it easier for corner stores to carry healthy foods.

The new funds will provide credits, advertising and training to 40 more corner stores throughout the City to carry fresh fruits and vegetables.

This will bridge the gap for one in four Baltimoreans who live without easy access to healthy food.

“Baltimarket offers an innovative and effective way to increase access to fresh and healthy foods,” said Surina Ann Jordan with Maryland Community Health Resources.

“How can our patients eat well when they live in areas of food deserts? Where they have to go and take two buses or walk 25 blocks in order to get healthy fruits and vegetables,” said City health commissioner Dr. Leana Wen.

The inventory goes hand-and-hand with education; teaching customers that they can sub out unhealthy foods in their diet. The lessons come from hired youth ambassadors like high school senior Eva Wise.

“Some people were really surprised. They’re like, ‘wow, oh my gosh! They were like I need to change, I need to change,'” Wise said.

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