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LSU AgCenter Supports PSE Changes in Louisiana

| Louisiana

Jul 06, 2023

Summary

The small town of Crowville, Louisiana has one corner store, one restaurant, and one dollar store – but no grocery store. Thanks to a partnership between Louisiana State University (LSU) AgCenter SNAP-Ed and a group of passionate community leaders, the local dollar store now features fresh produce, healthy snacks, and healthy shopping resources from the LSU AgCenter’s Geaux Shop Healthy program. 

Tomatoes on a store shelf and a sign "Geaux Shop Healhty! Snack on something fresh"
Geaux Shop Healthy “shelf talkers” feature healthy nudges throughout partner stores.

Challenge

Before the Summer of 2022, Crowville residents who wanted fresh fruits and vegetables had to travel to a neighboring town 15 miles away. During a community forum in April 2022 hosted by an LSU AgCenter SNAP-Ed agent, a group of Crowville residents said that lack of access to healthy foods was their number one health challenge. 

Sign in a store: "Look for the Logo (Geaux Shop Healthy) To find healthy affordable options! next to 3 adults standing in a grocery aisle
Friends of Crowville representatives and LSU AgCenter SNAP-Ed staff pose next to a Geaux Shop Healthy aisle sign at the store in Crowville.

Solution
To address this issue, the SNAP-Ed agent invited local groups to form a local Healthy Communities Coalition. This new group included representatives from Friends of Crowville, the First Baptist Church of Crowville, the Rural Heart and Lung Study, and Franklin Parish Sheriff’s Department. Coalition members from Friends of Crowville, a group of passionate and motivated community leaders, spearheaded a campaign to add fresh produce and healthy snacking options to the local dollar store. The group wrote letters, sent emails, and made phone calls. As a result of their efforts, the store agreed to remodel the Crowville location to include a fresh produce section featuring staples like avocados, bananas, citrus fruits, onions, potatoes, tomatoes, bell peppers, fruit cups, and lettuce mixes.

 

 

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The store didn’t have to worry about spoilage because every time they would restock it, within two days, the shelves would be bare. They now stock it two times a week, and it’s still bare after a couple of days. I believe the greatest impact will be just to show people that there is a healthier alternative to the foods they have been consuming. Sometimes it’s just as simple as giving them a healthier option.
Healthy Communities Coalition representative

Sustaining Success

The Crowville Healthy Communities Coalition continues efforts to increase healthier options at the dollar store. The store currently sells about 1,000 gallons of milk a week; the coalition’s goal is to make at least 25% of that milk low-fat. Additionally, the coalition has implemented LSU AgCenter’s Geaux Shop Healthy program there, which highlights healthy options and provide shoppers with balanced recipes and money-saving tips. The group plans to expand Geaux Shop Healthy to the local convenience store that many SNAP recipients also frequent. 

Image of fruits and vegetables on a store shelf with a yellow banner "We've remodeled to better serve you"

For More Information
Quincy Vidrine 
LSU AgCenter SNAP-Ed Agent
(318) 435-2903