Community, Health

Syracuse Corner Stores Offering Healthier Food Options

Trinity Health and Onondaga County Health Department created a program designed to encourage kids to eat healthy foods earlier in life so that they will continue to eat healthy foods well into their adult life. (c) 2018 Jeddy Johnson

Video transcript: Healthy Food in Corner Stores

By Jeddy Johnson SYRACUSE N.Y. (NCC News) — The Onondaga County Health Department and Trinity Health have created a program to ensure Syracuse residents get easier access to healthier foods. The program is aimed at children, but the program has had success amongst neighborhood residents as well.

To participate in the program, the corner store must be:

  • Willing to give up 50 percent of its shelf space to healthy options
  • Be located near a school.

The program leaders target school areas in hopes of encouraging kids to start eating healthier options early in life. That way, when they are adults, they would have already picked up healthy eating habits.

Having healthy food options is one thing, but getting people to buy them is another. Kathy Mogle, program coordinator with the Onondaga Health Department, said the first step is letting them know it’s there.

“It could be as simple as putting the sodas in the back and moving the waters to the front,” Mogle said.

Rita Algattas, co-owner of a participating store, said she displays fruits and vegetables near the cash register so kids can see them in the morning before heading to school.

Studies show that kids who eat healthier foods will have improved concentration, improved behavior and better school performance

So far there are three stores participating in Onondaga County Health Department’s and Trinity Health’s corner store initiative but Mogle plans on expanding the program.


Hawley Market keeps healthy food options inexpensive. (c) 2018 Jeddy Johnson

Hawley Market offers grab-and-go items like salads, fruit and sandwiches. (c) 2018 Jeddy Johnson