Saturday marked the grand reopening and makeover of Euclid Market in Boyle Heights. The market was transformed from a traditional corner market that sold chips, sodas and candy, to one highlighting fruits and vegetables, and other healthy snacks.
The project was a collaborative effort between the UCLA-USC Center for Population Health and Health Disparities (CPHHD) and the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. The conversion is part of a strategy with community members to change eating habits and reduce obesity and heart disease among the area’s Latino community.
Students from Roosevelt High School and Esteban Torres High School joined forces with the Fielding School and Public Matters, an artist-run organization dedicated to affecting powerful change around food injustice in impoverished communities.
Through the project my classmates and I had the opportunity to become health advocates for our community, speaking at community events, performing healthy cooking demonstrations and creating videos promoting a healthy lifestyle. We were also involved in giving the market a physical makeover””transforming its layout and design to ultimately give local community members more access to healthier food options.
Saturday’s event had more than 100 attendees including community members, project managers, and students who all gathered to watch the market owner proudly cut the red ribbon marking the grand reopening of her shop.
Chicken salad, and healthy tamales were offered to the community, as well as free high-blood pressure tests. I was glad to be a part of the event, and contribute to my community and the well being of my neighbors.
The Euclid Market is the third market in the East LA-Boyle Heights area to undergo such a transformation. Yash la Casa Market at Hammel Street and Hazard Avenue opened in November 2011, and Ramirez Meat Market at Folsom and Rowan in February 2012. The last market located on Mott Street and Whittier Boulevard will be converted early next year.
As part of the project, all four stores will be evaluated over two years using scientific surveys.
Euclid Market is located at Euclid Avenue and 6th Street in Boyle Heights.