Rachael Dombrowski, assistant professor of Community Health in the College of Education, quoted in dbusiness “Great Grocer Project in Detroit debuts”

dbusiness, 3/12
Great Grocer Project in Detroit debuts

By Grace Turner

Wayne State University, the Detroit Food Policy Council, and members of the Detroit Grocery Coalition have announced the Great Grocer Project, a program designed to strengthen relationships between independently owned grocery stores and their customers. The program also will provide support to increase awareness and sales of health foods in Detroit neighborhoods. It is led by the Wayne State University College of Education’s Center for Health and Community Impact, as well as the Detroit Food Policy Council. It is designed to promote grocers to improve community health and economic vitality through leadership and advancement of research, programs, and policies for healthy living. The project will also train and host fellows in seven community-based organizations, which will adopt a grocery store in each of Detroit’s districts. Fellows will work with store owners to help them better compete with big-box grocery stores by improving their relationships and communication with customers and conducting food and nutrition assessments at their stores. “Too often, Detroiters choose to shop outside the city to obtain their groceries and healthy foods,” says Rachael Dombrowski, who jointly directs the project and is an assistant professor of community health education in the College of Education’s Division of Kinesiology, Health, and Sport Studies as well as a research associate for the Center for Health and Community Impact. “We want to reverse that tide and showcase grocers who are providing high-quality, affordable healthy foods to their customers within the city. By working directly with store owners and community organizations, we aim to improve their relationships, the grocery landscape within Detroit, and the overall economic vitality of communities.”


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