On Friday, June 20th, Tricycle Gardens celebrated the launch of their new healthy corner store partners, Song’s Market and Fine Foods Market.

Richmond, VA is rated the country’s worst food desert for a city our size and Tricycle Gardens, in partnership with public and private partners, is working to change this through our Healthy Corner Store Program. A citywide expansion is underway.

As a participating healthy corner store, storeowners commit to offering fresh, local produce grown by Tricycle Gardens and other local farmers as well as in-store tasting and food skills education programming. Tricycle Gardens celebrated the store owners’ commitment to improve access to healthy foods and provide skills needed to buy, prepare and enjoy delicious, healthy and affordable meals with the company of community members, customers, store owners and program partners like the Richmond City Health District, Councilwoman Cynthia Newbille, VDH, Bon Secours Health System

, Richmond Memorial Health Foundation, CarMax Foundation and more.

The Executive Chef of the Governor’s Mansion Chris Blain prepared and demoed a Veggie and Black Bean Burrito Bowl in Bon Secours Virginia Health System’s Class-A-Roll with the help of youth from the Family Resource Center’s Youth Health Equity Leadership Institute and the Neighborhood Resource Center’s Food Landscape program. The recipe used only ingredients found in the corner stores and highlighted how to use seasonal produce to prepare affordable, healthy meals.

The events were free and open to the public. Families and individuals came out to learn about eating healthy on a budget and the expanded healthy food choices offered at the corner stores and celebrated the movement toward a healthier East End. Kids’ activities emphasizing physical activity and healthy food choices engaged the young people and community leaders talked to the adults to create an open line of communication.

Tricycle Gardens has several upcoming community-based food skills education programs including cooking demonstrations at the Robinson Theater on July 2nd, July 16th and July 30th from 6 – 7 PM and an in-store tasting at Fine Foods on July 9th from 3 – 4 PM.