American Heart Association Partners with New Grocery Store in Richmond Food Desert

Filling a void for a full-service grocery in Richmond’s East End, the highly anticipated The Market @ 25th opened its doors to happy customers on April 29th. The Market @ 25th will increase access to fresh, healthy foods while also serving as a community hub for area residents.  The store also houses Hope Pharmacy, a locally owned and operated business, focuses on hiring and training area residents and offers locally sourced products and produce.  Completing the community vibe, signs and isle markers within the store pay tribute to the area’s rich history which dates to the 1600’s.

The American Heart Association’s (AHA) Community Impact Director, Tierra Howard, says, “ The opening of The Market @ 25th and Hope Pharmacy align with our priorities to increase access to healthy foods and  primary care.  The store’s and pharmacy’s decision to not sell tobacco products also supports our efforts to end tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke.”

Howard is working with the store and the pharmacy to promote health messaging and education to area residents.  Market staff have already been trained as chef partners for the AHA’s Simple Cooking with Heart program and have received a mobile kitchen kit to facilitate cooking classes for students at the neighboring high and middle schools.

Howard also sees an opportunity to work with the pharmacy to reduce the high incidence of high blood pressure (HBP) in the community.  HBP is the leading cause of preventable heart disease and stroke death and is second only to smoking as the most common cause of preventable death from any cause. Howard says, “Since many people with HBP don’t even know they have it, we want to encourage everyone who comes into the market to get their blood pressure checked and learn about their risk by using our interactive blood pressure tool.  For those with hypertension, we want to encourage a self-monitoring program.”

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