The United Fresh Produce Association scored a big victory for the industry and for low-income shoppers alike in 2008, when they got the federal government to allow participants in the Women, Infants and Children supplemental nutrition program to buy fruits and vegetables with their vouchers. However, the program has still faced a few important hurdles.
Notably, many of the people that the program targets live in neighborhoods where convenience stores and small mom and pop stores are the only places nearby that sell food. SN technology and distribution editor Michael Garry has been doing a lot of reporting on these “Food Deserts” lately.
But, El Segundo, Calif.-based Fresh & Easy recently stepped up to the plate with a new location in Los Angeles, according to Laurie True, executive director of the California WIC Association, who spoke this morning at the Nutrition and Health Council Seminar at United Fresh 2010.
“Fresh & Easy was taking food stamps, but until recently, they weren’t taking WIC, because they were sort of blown away by how complicated the check transaction was,” True said. “But, they finally realized what a big market WIC could be in the inner city. They just opened up a store in Compton, in Los Angeles, and they’re taking WIC vouchers. So, we’re very happy about that.”