Healthy Grocery Initiative
Our team works with Oakland and Unincorporated Alameda County independent grocery store owners to support business growth, build customer loyalty, and increase healthy food options.
The Healthy Grocery Initiative (HGI) team works with Oakland and Unincorporated Alameda County independent grocery store owners to support business growth, build customer loyalty, and increase healthy food options, such as fresh, frozen, lightly processed, and packaged fruits and vegetables, in their communities. Our central goals are to uplift independent stores as viable, affordable, and health-promoting retail access points in their community, and to increase profits through healthier food sales.
HGI provides free support services to assist store owners with selling produce and healthy inventory profitably and meeting health-aligned business goals. We offer training in 8 retail areas, including produce management and merchandising. Established partners may be eligible to receive equipment upgrades or renovations (as funding is available).
Our Fresh Creds program deepens the impact of our food access work by allowing us to offer CalFresh-enrolled customers a 50% discount on California-grown fruits and vegetables.
We offer discounts and associated marketing materials to small and medium-sized independent grocers or cooperatives.
Where to Shop
Check out our map of store partners!
Try spending 10% of your monthly food budget at an independent store. Make your shopping list and buy what you can from your neighborhood market before going to a supermarket.
Shifting the Narrative
Shifting the Food Desert Narrative in East Oakland by Healthy Grocery Initiative Manager, Amani Ali, debunks East Oakland's food desert myth.
According to this report released by the National Grocers Association (NGA) – 61% of SNAP program participants cite the “cost of healthy food” as a barrier to access. This is just one of many barriers SNAP participants face when shopping for healthy foods. The report goes on to say that independent community grocery stores play a critical role in supplementing and supporting the accessibility of SNAP benefits for program participants.
These community grocery stores provide access by offering the right program in the right place — “reaching communities that big-box stores do not find profitable.”