Cilantro to Store: Farm fresh to the city - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Cilantro to Store: Farm fresh to the city

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CHULA VISTA (CBS 8) - From the outside, Sunset Liquor on Broadway in Chula Vista looks like your typical corner convenience store. Locals come in to do their daily shopping and kids buy their typical unhealthy snacks. But this store is now offering some healthier alternatives.

"Every time we get a customer who walks into the store, they see the fruit and vegetables right in front of them and they ask, "Where are you guys getting this from?" Roy Mikha said.

Sunset Liquor, along with three other western Chula Vista markets are part of the government-funded Cilantro to Stores project.

"To bring fresh locally grown produce, produce grown here in San Diego County, to communities and neighborhoods that really have very little or no access to fresh, affordable food," Cheryl Moder of the Childhood Obesity Initiative said.

So every Thursday, Farmer Steve arrives at Sunset Liquor with his truckful of fresh fruit and veggies, handpicked from his Ramona farm less than 24 hours ago.

"They've really done a nice job with this Cilantro program, providing this so we can rotate ripe avocados in here with vegetables," Steve said.

But Famer Steve admits just bringing fresh produce to market is not going to end childhood obesity.

"The real driving force behind this must be the parents," he said.

Still, Cilantro to Stores is a step in the right direction.

"We want to make it as easy to buy an orange as it is to buy an orange soda, as affordable to buy foods that are needed to make a healthy meal at home as it is to buy a fast food super value meal," Moder said.

"It's going to take no doubt plenty of persuasion and education, but I'm optimistic because I think the evidence is out there," Steve said.

As goes a Chula Vista liquor store, so goes life. It's all about making healthy choices.

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