Philadelphia Food Trust employee honored

Brianna Almaguer Sandoval. (Photo courtesy of Natural Resources Defense Council)
Brianna Almaguer Sandoval. (Photo courtesy of Natural Resources Defense Council)
Posted: April 19, 2013

Corner stores are a staple in poor neighborhoods, where large supermarkets find it economically unfeasible to flourish.

The problem has long been that small groceries aren't known for fresh fruits and vegetables. That has left an impoverished population bereft of good food, compelled to live in so-called food deserts.

But Philadelphia's Food Trust, a nationally recognized nonprofit dedicated to ensuring that everyone has access to nutritious food, has been working to change that.

Recently, Brianna Almaguer Sandoval, 30, of the Food Trust, was recognized for her efforts in changing what gets stocked in corner stores.

She leads the Trusts' five-year-old Healthy Corner Store Initiative, a program that provides education and financial support to corner stores to help them increase their availability of fresh fruits and vegetables.

On Almaguer Sandoval's watch, the Initiative grew from 11 stores to 680 in Philadelphia, Norristown, and Camden, since 2008. As a result, the national Natural Resources Defense Council awarded Almaguer Sandoval a 2013 Growing Green Award, given to innovators in sustainable food and agriculture.

By getting hundreds of corner stores "on board to offer and market healthy foods...," an NRDC statement reads, "Brianna has created the 21st Century community-based blueprint to drive healthy eating habits and solve America's critical food gap."

Responding to the honor, Almaguer Sandoval said, "Everyone has a right to healthy food, regardless of wher they live or how much money they have. Greater access to healthy food, especially for children in urban areas, translates as life-changing health outcomes. This work is just the beginning of an exciting future for corner stores and public health."


Contact Alfred Lubrano at 215-854-4969 or alubrano@phillynews.com

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