Last Friday I conducted a wonderful interview with the owner of Wheeler Market in Southeast Washington, DC. I am reviewing my footage now, typing up a video log and transcribing the interview, and I am excited to meet with him again. He currently carries bananas, onions and sometimes oranges, but the market has a demand for more fruits and vegetables. Over the next couple of months, he plans to start carrying more fresh food “to see how it goes.” I asked him if he’d heard of programs like Healthy Corners, a program that provides fresh produce at a discounted rate to corner stores, to help him get more fruit and vegetables into his store. He said he hadn’t but was definitely interested in learning more.
Wheeler Market is in Ward 8 of Washington DC. This Ward has the highest rate of diabetes, the second highest rate of obesity and the fewest grocery stores of any Ward. Healthy Corners was started specifically to combat the food and hunger issues that are prevalent here and in other food deserts. In a food desert, residents often live too far from their closest grocery store, or find it too expensive, so they turn to corner stores to buy their groceries. I believe corner store owners have a great responsibility because they must carry enough food to meet the demand of the neighborhood. When I began my thesis several months ago, the biggest goal that I set for myself was to help a corner store owner carry fresh produce. Now I might actually get the chance to be a part of this transition! I am excited to document this corner store owner over the next few months as his business starts to carry fresh produce.