JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Something new and healthy is popping up in a few Jacksonville neighborhoods. It's called the "So Fresh, So Clean" initiative. The goal is to increase the availability of healthy, fresh, affordable foods in neighborhoods that don't have a large grocery store.
The initiative was the brain child of a partnership between the Duval County Health Department and local youth organization, "I Am a Star."
They conducted community assessments and found the areas struggled with chronic diseases like diabetes, hypertension and heart disease -- all of which can be helped, and even prevented, by maintaining a healthy diet.
They held focus groups to get feedback from area residents. Jocelyn Turner, Community Relations Director for the Duval County Health Department says since it was coming from neighborhood children, residents were all for it.
"The adults were very proud to see the kids involved in something they had not done before. And the kids even said 'I never imagined being able to make a difference in community and doing something like this,'" Turner says.
"We learned our generation is going to be the first generation to not outlive our parents," says 15-year-old Dominique Trowell. He's just one of the members of the "I Am a Star" program that helped jump start the initiative.
"We felt as though we should do something and get the younger generation active, so we decided to put healthy fruits and vegetables in the local corner stores so everyone can come and purchase them and start a healthy life," he says.
The Quickway Food Store on Moncrief Road will offer healthy foods regularly, while another store, the Good Neighbor Food Mart on Fairfax Street, will hold a monthly fresh market.
First Coast News