Minneapolis ordinance forcing folks to quit smoking and eat their vegetables; minority communities hardest hit

Sparta Report | 11/20/2018 | Bruno Strozek
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You may not believe that the Minneapolis City Council passed an ordinance requiring small Mom & Pop grocery stores to sell fruits and vegetables to their ethnically diverse patrons while at the same time denying those same customers access to menthol cigarettes and as a result, minority-owned business are being stressed to the point of closure.

You would, of course, be wrong:

Part - Foods - Ordinance - Minneapolis - Grocery

Since 2014, as part of its “staple foods” ordinance, Minneapolis has required licensed grocery stores, corner shops and convenience stores to stock a variety of healthy foods from 10 categories. The goal was to help consumers who don’t have easy access to grocery stores.

City officials acknowledge that they need to loosen the rules. In 2018, 38 percent of the 250 stores, including supermarkets and small convenience shops, were fully compliant with the ordinance, according to data from the city’s health department. But another study conducted by the University of Minnesota last year showed that among small stores, only 10 percent were in compliance. The city is now proposing to reduce required quantities while combining food categories and expanding other varieties acceptable to different ethnic groups.

Changes - Response - Store - Owners - Complaints

The changes are in response to store owners’ complaints that they were being forced to stock items that their customers don’t eat, said Kristen Klingler, a public health specialist with the Minneapolis Health Department.

Mahmoud Salem, owner of Quick Stop at 3601 Penn Av. N., and Azem said shoppers who...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Sparta Report
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