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.
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.
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.
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.
For More Information
LSU AgCenter SNAP-Ed Agent