In March, IMAN organizers Shamar Hemphill and Sara Hamdan traveled to Philadelphia to visit The Food Trust, a local organization dedicated to nutrition education and increasing access to affordable, healthy food. For over 20 years, The Food Trust has developed and successfully implemented a model for converting inner-city corner stores into hubs of healthy living. IMAN has drawn from their Healthy Corner Store Initiative model in Philadelphia to help inform the Muslim Run campaign.
Shamar, Sara and members of The Food Trust shared best practices, as well as challenges of doing corner store conversion work in Chicago and Philadelphia respectively. They also toured several corner stores that are participating in the Healthy Corner Store Initiative. These stores were given access to produce displays and in-store marketing materials to encourage consumer consciousness. As a result of their commitment to working alongside The Food Trust, several store owners spoke of their continued commitment to providing the community with increased healthy options.
In addition to visiting corner stores, Shamar and Sara were given a tour of The Fresh Grocer, a grocery store located within the nation’s oldest African-American owned and operated shopping center. The Fresh Grocer was financed in part by the Pennsylvania Fresh Food Financing Initiative, and serves as a powerful example of what a broad coalition of community partners and allies can do collectively.
The Muslim Run team is eager to continue strengthening their corner store model, working with store owners, local residents, and IMAN leaders to build the dignified, healthy spaces our communities deserve. If you would like to get involved with IMAN’s Muslim Run corner store campaign, please contact Sara Hamdan (email@example.com).