Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, Broome and Dollar General kept their focus on fighting food insecurity and are pleased with the progress the mayor’s Geaux Get Healthy campaign has made.
“At the end of the day, it’s all about outcomes,” Broome says. “Dollar General is a key piece of our Geaux Get Healthy work. It shows our food-insecure residents that fresh produce and healthier eating options are within their reach.”
Both the City of Baton Rouge and Dollar General are just getting started.
Dollar General currently offers a range of produce in more than 1,500 stores and recently announced a goal of offering fresh produce in up to 10,000 stores in the coming years. Work on its self-distribution of frozen and perishable foods also continues to expand.
Broome remains focused on bringing full-service grocery stores into underserved areas of Baton Rouge while also growing and developing Geaux Get Healthy programming with an array of community partners.
All the while, both Broome and Dollar General are confident that their collaboration is far from over and look forward to continuing to serve Baton Rouge residents for years to come.
“Our partnership with Dollar General isn’t the final frontier in closing the grocery gap, but it is one solution that we have been able to accomplish,” Broome says. “Our partnership is a great example of not allowing the limitations of government to prevent you from responding to a very imminent need.”
It’s All About Healthy Outcomes
Dollar General offers a range
of produce in more than 1,500 stores and plans to expand it to 10,000 stores in the coming years.
As part of Geaux Get Healthy, Mayor-President Broome reached out to Dollar General to see if the retailer could stock fresh produce in select Baton Rouge stores.
“My administration is known for developing and emphasizing the power of public-private partnerships,” Broome says. “It is not uncommon for me to reach out to anyone and everyone to get the job done.”
With a phone call to Dollar General, that collaboration began.
By spring 2020, Dollar General had remodeled two Baton Rouge stores, and together the city and company found a solution to increase healthier food access.
Once the renovations were complete, the two Baton Rouge Dollar General stores began selling an assortment of fresh fruits and vegetables—covering 80% of the overall categories offered by traditional grocers. Dollar General also partnered with the American Heart Association and a local hospital system to create Simple Cooking With Heart classes, which stage free healthy cooking demonstrations around town with the help of a mobile kitchen.
“Serving Others is more than our mission. It is at the center of everything we do at Dollar General,” says Steve Brophy, vice president of government relations for the chain. “We saw an opportunity to support this community and remain grateful for the collaborative partnership with Mayor-President Broome and her administration.”
“In this day and age, we all have to be innovative,” says Broome. “This elevation of fresh foods in Dollar General shows a level of innovation, creativity and [accommodation of] their market.”
Forging A Public-Private Partnership
Improved food security for more than 33,000 residents
Grown more than 15,000 pounds of produce in community gardens
Distributed 150,000 pounds of fresh food
Enrolled 258 residents in educational programs, including cooking classes, nutrition classes and Dollar General tours
Since its launch in late 2018, Geaux Get Healthy has: