ACCESS TO healthy food for low-income Philadelphians improved by 17 percent in a two-year period, according to a report released Wednesday by the city's Public Health Department.
The report, Walkable Access to Healthy Food in Philadelphia, shows that the number of Philadelphians living in high-poverty neighborhoods with limited access to healthy food dropped by 61,000 between 2010 and 2012.
As part of the 2010 Get Healthy Philly initiative, the Food Trust and the health department offered corner stores an annual $100 incentive to encourage the sale of healthy food, said Giridhar Mallya, director of policy and planning for the health department.
Corner stores affiliated with the initiative increased from 30 to 650 in that time. The stores added a minimum of four new healthy products in at least two categories, including fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy, lean meats and whole grains.
Still, 307,000 Philadelphians live in poverty-stricken areas with low-to-no access to healthy food within walking distance, mainly in North and West Philadelphia, the report said. And in a city where 900,000 people are obese, including 150,000 children, more work needs to be done, Mallya said.