November 2020 has brought together a fantastic new partnership. HEALTHIER TOGETHER's Chronic Disease work group has seen great success with their Fresh Produce Food Voucher Program, and is expanding their reach into more communities that need it most. The program, which originated in the Franklin neighborhood area of Belleville, is expanding their footprint to help serve communities in the greater East St. Louis and Washington Park area. HEALTHIER TOGETHER, in coordination with the Make Health Happen initiative, will be providing venture capital to Neighbor's Market, enabling them to extend their fruit and vegetable incentive program to those in need. This particular targeted area is a community that is heavily impacted by food access, food insecurity, and food deserts and though this is an issue that we know cannot be fixed over night, we hope to jump start the process one partnership at a time.
HEALTHIER TOGETHER Director, Mark Peters presents a check to Neighbor's Market Owner and Manager Sterling Moody.
SNAP-Ed Educator, Katrina Galati displays a food voucher outside the Neighbor's Market.
Make Health Happen has started working with Mr. Sterling Moody, owner and manager of the Neighbor's Market. This local grocery store offers access to fresh fruits and vegetables, and together their goal is to expand this incentive program and get fresh produce into the hands of the community. This small business is right off the highway and boast a very clean, appealing look to the public. It is within walking distance to neighboring schools, housing, and the metro line, making it accessible to those living in this community. Fruit and vegetable incentive programs offer low-income participants matching funds to purchase healthy foods. These vouchers can only be used on fresh fruits and vegetables in the store and they are being distributed through a number of avenues within the local area.