Dari Mart is testing fresh produce at several of its c-stores with help from the Healthy Corner Stores Initiative.
Dari Mart is the latest c-store chain to test fresh produce at its stores located in food deserts, with some help from a local association.
The Dari Mart store in west Springfield, Ore., is one of the chain’s stores featuring organic produce via a mobile produce stand, thanks to a local version of the Healthy Corner Stores Initiative that works to provide stores with healthier alternatives, The Register-Guard reported.
The local version of Healthy Corner Stores Initiative— spearheaded by the Lane Coalition for Healthy Active Youth —is one of just a few nationwide that involves a chain of stores — in this case, Dari Mart, which has 43 stores in Oregon. It’s also the only known initiative that involves a mobile produce stand. The project is being funded through a $180,000, three-year grant from the Northwest Health Foundation and a $21,210 grant from the Spirit Mountain Community Fund.
Under the program, Jack Richardson, whose family owns McKenzie River Organic Farm near Leaburg, Ore., brings his mobile fruit and vegetable stand to a number of c-stores located in three neighborhoods in the Eugene-Springfield, Ore., area where nutritious, affordable groceries are scarce—including the Dari Mart at 1243, where he can be found on Wednesday afternoons.
Richardson first arrived at Dari Mart on Rainbow Drive on June 22 with his mobile fruit and vegetable stand, and during his two-hour stop about 80 customers purchased fresh produce. Richardson plans to continue selling fresh produce outside the Dari Mart on Wednesday afternoons through September.
Next up, the Coalition is working with Dari Mart to add an array of healthy groceries at its stores in two west Eugene neighborhoods where customers live in a food desert where healthy choices are hard to find. The neighborhoods were chosen for the project based on age and income demographics, input from Dari Mart officials and proximity to supermarkets, The Register-Guard reported.