Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Virtual Supermarket Program Celebrates Successes

One of the reasons I started this blog was to use this space to mark the achievements of Baltimore City Health Department programs.  Last night, Laura Fox, Coordinator of BCHD’s Virtual Supermarket Program, joined Dr. Andres Alonso, the board of education, George Washington Elementary principal Amanda Rice, and students in celebrating the expansion of the VSP to George Washington Elementary School as another step towards eliminating Baltimore’s “food deserts.”

Food deserts are areas where residents have little or no options for buying healthy foods.  Oftentimes families in these areas have to travel over a mile to access healthy and affordable foods.  George Washington Elementary is located in a food desert.

It has been a wonderful partnership with George Washington Elementary and the Y of Central Maryland as the school community resource partner. We see schools as ideal centers to model healthy behaviors.  We hope that the success at George Washington Elementary will eventually lead us to expand to other Baltimore public schools located in food deserts throughout the city.

Last night was not the Virtual Supermarket’s only cause for celebration. Famed food author and New York Times columnist Mark Bittman mentioned the VSP in a recent post about ways cities can increase access to healthy foods. I am proud that Baltimore’s program is quickly becoming a national model for innovative ways to address the critical problem of food access.

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