Another Corner Market In East Los Angeles Transformed
The re-opened market emphasizes healthier options.
By Elizabeth Hsing-Huei Chou, EGP Staff Writer
A neighborhood in East Los Angeles turned out Saturday for the re-opening of Ramirez Meat Market, the second corner store to receive a healthy food makeover as part of an effort by UCLA and USC researchers and community members to increase the number of healthy food options in the low-income community.
Brightly colored vegetables and fruits were strategically placed where a giant rack of chips was once displayed, welcoming customers as they entered the revamped market, which now includes an expanded selection of produce from the East Los Angeles Farmer’s Market, and the same quality-service at the meat counter.
The chips, soda and candy are still there, but customers will have to hunt for them at the back of the store.
“I like the way this is set up. I like the convenience. When you see pretty fruits and vegetables you just want to come,” says Diana Razo, 50, a long time East Los Angeles resident who lives across the street from the market.
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The neighborhood where Razo lives is not necessarily a “food desert,” just down the hill is a Superior Market. But “sometimes you want that quick thing and you don’t want to go to the supermarket and deal with all those people,” she said.
Razo added there has always been a demand for fresher produce and a desire for an upgrade in grocery store options, but sometimes neighborhoods in East Los Angeles get ignored. “I go to the market all the time, so I do get a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables. Right off the farm? No. But we do get them,” she said.
The UCLA-USC Center for Population health and Health Disparities launched this corner store makeover project, which is funded by the National Institutes of Health, to cut back on high rates of cardiovascular disease among Latinos in East Los Angeles. Students from Esteban Torres High School also took part in the makeover of the Ramirez Meat Market.
Last October, another store, Yash La Casa Market, went through a similar transformation, and has since experienced a 25 percent increase in revenues from a year ago, according to project organizers.Print This Post
February 16, 2012 Copyright © 2012 Eastern Group Publications, Inc.