Small-chain markets in Lengthy Seaside might obtain monetary assist to put in tools, resembling fridges and cabinets, by way of a brand new metropolis program to advertise more healthy reasonably priced meals in underserved communities.
Small companies might apply to obtain the monetary assist by way of the town’s PlanetBids portal by 11 a.m. on Jan. 11. The town additionally revealed a video with directions on the right way to apply. The companies that qualify embrace small markets with lower than 4 registers, comfort shops promoting meals gadgets and liquor shops looking for to increase to turn out to be small markets. Chosen candidates can be awarded as much as $20,000 and conversions have to be accomplished by March 20, based on the town.
Monetary assist for this program have to be used to buy tools that may settle for SNAP, EBT and WIC playing cards for lower-income households, based on the town. One other prerequisite requires companies to buy wholesome meals to be offered at not more than 15% above price.
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted Lengthy Seaside communities which are extra more likely to undergo from continual diseases. The excessive price of consumption of meals excessive in saturated fat, sugars and nutrient-poor contributes to the prevalence of weight problems and Kind-2 diabetes—which will increase dangers for extreme COVID-19 problems and mortality. The dearth of more healthy meals has added to the socioeconomic wants skilled in North, West and Central Lengthy Seaside.
The funds can be used to assist the event of wholesome markets as a part of a extra intensive campaign to promote healthy eating. Enterprise at small bodegas and markets in North Lengthy Seaside grew during the pandemic 39% since March as communities stayed native amidst stay-home well being orders.
The speed of unemployment prompted by the pandemic has additionally highlighted the necessity for reasonably priced meals. A recent study by USC discovered that one in all each 4 households in Los Angeles County skilled meals insecurity not less than as soon as within the first few months of the pandemic. Scenes of thousands of cars lined up at a food giveaway in Downtown Lengthy Seaside final month highlighted the rising want.
“Growing entry to wholesome meals choices for populations in recent meals deserts is essential to lowering the chance of extreme sickness attributable to COVID-19,” Mayor Robert Garcia mentioned in a press release. “We encourage retail meals companies fascinated with wholesome market conversions to reply to this request for proposal to assist wholesome meals accessibility in our neighborhoods.”