By: Sam Chin, Creating Healthy Communities Intern
On January 31st, legislative and state agency leaders, grocery store owners, and health service providers gathered at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus, Ohio for the HFFO Statehouse Lunch Briefing hosted by the Finance Fund. The purpose of this briefing was to provide updates and share the success of current HFFO statewide projects that are improving food access in underserved communities. The five HFFO-funded projects discussed at the briefing are currently providing fresh food to over 35,000 Ohio residents. As hese projects further establish themselves in their respective communities, the number of people being served is expected to grow tremendously. The success of Simon’s Supermarket in Euclid was shared by Kandace Jones, a former city councilwoman and current resident of Euclid, and Simon Hussain, owner of Simon’s Supermarket. Kandace attributed the success of this grocery store to Simon’s heart for the community, noting that Simon’s Supermarket, “is a business that is giving the community what they want”, as this store provides fresh produce, meats, and grocery delivery to cater to the communities’ needs. Simon cites, “a very high unemployment and no supermarket” as reasons for opening in this particular area of Euclid, and he is excited about the current success and long-term potential of this store. Among the community representatives who shared at the briefing, it was unanimously noted that these projects would not be possible without the aid of HFFO funding. Moving forward, it is our hope that these five projects can serve as leading examples to address poor food access in the under-resourced communities of Ohio and other areas across the country.
The Creating Healthy Communities coalition is activating communities to improve access to and affordability of healthy food, increase opportunities for physical activity, and assure tobacco-free living where Ohioans live, work and play. By implementing sustainable evidence-based strategies, CHC is creating a culture of health.