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Local Corner Store Increases Fruit and Vegetable Access in Colorado

| Colorado

Apr 04, 2024


In Colorado, SNAP-Ed partners with Cooking Matters and the School Wellness Program (SWP) to assist local corner stores increase healthier offerings and purchases. Cooking Matters and SWP are SNAP-Ed funded programs aimed at increasing fruit and vegetable consumption among Colorado’s SNAP-Ed eligible population. Both programs have partnered with the owner of El Tepetate corner store, to increase fruit and vegetable consumption in his community. SWP and Cooking Matters provided nutrition education using recipe cards and Nutrition Nuggets. Nutrition Nuggets provide nutritional facts and recipes for customers to learn about produce and ways to prepare it. 

examples of nutrition nuggets signage - tips on cabbage and corn


El Tapete is a locally owned corner store that provides groceries and household items to its neighborhood. The owners, a husband-and-wife team, and their store have been an important part of the Latino community in Denver for over 25 years. They have been in constant communication with the community which has supported them through some challenging times of economic and infrastructure changes in the community. The owners have always been willing to meet the needs of the community and are invested in the health of the community. They wanted to provide resources to educate customers on the nutritional value of consuming fruits and vegetables. 

produce display in a local corner store with nutrition nuggets signage


Through meetings with the store owners, they expressed interest in displaying nutritional information at the store. SWP and Cooking Matters collaborated to create Nutrition Nuggets and recipe cards. Nutrition Nuggets are point-of-purchase information signs providing information and tips on fruits and vegetables Throughout the year a variety of Nutrition Nuggets were displayed with the produce. The Nutrition Nuggets are displayed in the store to educate on the nutritional value of the produce available for purchase. Recipe cards were available at the register for customers to take home.

Follow-up meetings were held to determine the usefulness and success of this strategy. The store owners reported that the Nutrition Nuggets were useful, and the community was more interested in buying fruits and vegetables. By communicating with customers, they have learned what they would like to have in the store, and the owners buy fruits and vegetables according to the season. During prickly pear, papaya, and cactus season, the store owners adapted by adding a three-bin sink in order to sell peeled and cut fruit. The store owners also help customers choose the correct produce for the recipe they are preparing by personally assisting them with selections in the store. 

Sustainability Success 

The partnership is expected to be maintained in the years ahead with the expansion of additional strategies. The organizations will work to expand the partnerships (ST7), increase healthy eating (MT1), and support food and resource management (MT2). The SWP will continue to provide Nutrition Nuggets to educate the customers. The store owner and his family will continue growing their relationship with the community. 

Store employees stand with fresh fruits and vegetables that are available for purchase

Contact Luke Shealy for more information.
To learn more about SNAP-Ed corner store work, please see The Healthy Corner Stores Guide.

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People buy more fruits and vegetables thanks to Cooking Matters and SWP Nutrition Nuggets.
- Store Owner
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