This fun video came up during a search for a Metro story in this morning’s Globe.
LAWRENCE — Bodegas are an integral part of Latino community life in this racially and culturally diverse city of more than 80,200. There are at least 85 such sundry shops in an area spanning just a little more than 7.4 square miles.
But while Lawrence’s bodegas offer a wide variety of food from South and Central America, fresh fruits and vegetables have long been absent from local shelves.
Because of their small size, many bodegas don’t have the means to buy or store fresh produce. As a result, many of the city’s poor who don’t have a car to reach the few supermarkets that are on the edge of the city suffer from a dearth of healthy food options. More than 45 percent of children in the Lawrence school district were overweight or obese, according to a 2010 report by the state Department of Public Health, likely from unhealthy or unbalanced diets.
To combat the problem, Lawrence General Hospital and the city started a program called Healthy on the Block/Bodegas Saludables.
The Lawrence Eagle also covered the program.
LAWRENCE — Cesar Checo opened the corner store at Lawrence and Park streets in 2007. Over the past few years, he’s made an effort to offer more than plantains and rice to his customers.
He has grown his bodega into more of a full service grocery store, providing fresh fruits and veggies to the neighborhood.
His El Mello Supermarket was recognized recently by city officials for Checo’s participation in the city’s Healthy on the Block/Bodegas Saludables program. The program provides bodega owners capital and guidance in a push to bring more healthy foods to Lawrence residents.