Later this week, Bayview residents can chuck that disgusting Wendy's bacon burger and head down to, of all places, their nearest liquor store to get something a little more compatible with the human heart.
Concerned foodies and health activists in San Francisco teamed up with Kaiser to help corner stores in the Bayview, including Lee's Market and Ford's Grocery, start selling fresh food and finally make it possible for the city's low-income denizens to eat something other than a can of Mickeys for dinner.
Sadly, Bayview residents have had greater access to fast food, sugary snacks, and alcohol to wash it all down when shopping around the neighborhood than they've had to fruits and veggies. Last year, the city's "food guardians" assessed all the corner stores in Bayview, and found that only a handful of the 20 or so food stores in the neighborhood stocked fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grain bread, or low-fat milk.
And that's why this bit of non-news shouldn't come as a surprise you: Bayview residents suffer from diet-related disease such as diabetes and heart disease at much higher rates than folks enjoying sushi in the Marina.
Such is life in an "urban food desert," where corner stores and restaurants exist, but mostly to sell unsavory eats to poor people. Under Kaiser Permanente's Bayview Healthy Eating Active Living program, two local corner stores will get "healthy makeovers" making it all that much easier for residents in the Bayview to prepare delicious square meals for their families.
Research shows that small stores do have the potential to increase fruit and vegetable intake; however, mom-and-pop stores are faced with many hurdles that make it difficult to stock these healthy foods, according to the Department of Public Health.
Reason No. 1: Corner stores are saturated with free advertising and incentives to sell tobacco, alcohol, and highly processed food. "We're here to make a change, not wait for handouts," said Antonia Williams a "food guardian" working on the project.