Glen Cove shoppers have more healthy options when they visit La Placita supermarket on Glen Street, thanks to a new initiative launched last week. A Healthy Corner Store launch event was held on Friday to raise awareness of the program, which is sponsored by the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County, Cohen Children’s Medical Center and Kohl’s Keeping Kids Healthy program.
“We are a sustainability organization focused on four key areas of Long Island,” said Vanessa Lockel, executive director of Cornell Cooperative Extension in Suffolk County, noting that the focus areas are agriculture, marine, l community education and youth development 4H.
“It’s through programs like SNAP education,” said Lockel, “where we support businesses and show that we provide healthy options in the community.” She said the organization makes sure that when people walk into a supermarket where there is a “food desert,” they see fruits, vegetables, water and other healthy food options.
Dr. Zahrine Bajwa, director of community education for CCE, explained that the SNAP education program is aimed at all of Long Island. “Glen Cove is nothing new to us. We worked with the school district and the after-school program, ”she said, adding that they had stores in Roosevelt and Suffolk County. “The goal of SNAP education – a federally funded program from the USDA – is to make people healthy. But you can’t just teach people to change their behavior when the environment isn’t supporting it. One of the factors that is very important is that there is a place where people can find healthy choices. This is why it is extremely important to make these changes in the “corner store”.
Cynthia Rogers, who was at the press conference on behalf of U.S. Representative Tom Suozzi, said she runs the pantry at the Glen Cove Youth Bureau and knows families appreciate fresh produce, which isn’t always available. “Your education and your efforts to help the community have access to something they need is appreciated,” said Rogers.
“We are happy to be here to support local businesses,” said Amy Flores, Executive Director, Nassau County of Hispanic Affairs, “and most importantly ensuring that all of our families are healthy and feed their families well. healthy and nutritious meals.
The county office has partnered with Cornell Cooperative Extension and Brava / La Placita to make sure people know about and have access to available government resources, according to Flores.
La Placita opened in October 2012 and underwent renovations in 2018. Store manager Sal Diaz said he worked with the CCE team to prepare the store for the initiative.
“We have health issues in our community, and in any way I can help our community, I’m more than willing,” Diaz said. “We help them and they support us. I am very grateful to Glen Cove. They’ve been more than supportive, and programs like this are very important, and they motivate people and make them do better. The Cornell team have done a great job putting out brochures and signs, so people are asking about that. And when they ask about it, it opens up a conversation.
“Sal is such an advocate for the community,” said Councilor Gaitley Stevenson-Mathews. “Whenever the community needs support, you can always count on Sal. It’s no surprise to me that Sal is partnering with other organizations to make a real difference in our community, and it is which brings healthy habits and healthy food to our city.