On Saturday, June 21 Councilman Curren Price attended the Grand Re-Opening of the student-led market conversion at La Favorita Market, located across the street from Thomas Jefferson High School in Southeast Los Angeles.
The goal of the market conversion, according to Jason Magaña, a student who organized the event, was “to increase healthy food options in our neighborhood that has been identified as a food desert.” Self-identified as the “Demolicious Frugeez,” students of the youth team are 10th and 11th graders at Jefferson High who understand the importance of how their community’s built environment contributes to health concerns of local residents. The students worked closely with the La Favorita Store owner to complete the changes.
Earlier this year, the youth team recognized the problem of limited access to fresh fruits and vegetables in their school and local community as a key issue for collective change. To address this issue, students decided to complete a small market conversion at a store frequented by Jefferson High students. After conducting a retail store mapping assessment, students identified potential small markets in their community to target for the conversion. Out of four nearby stores, the youth team selected La Favorita mini-market. Changes made to the market were 100% student-led and included: improved product placement, increased fresh produce with marketing to promote the consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables and store beautification. The youth team facilitated the collaboration with thestore owner, Carlos Diaz, and the director of the Central Ave. Farmers Market, Jared Call, to incorporate low cost fresh produce to the store. The students hope this will be the first step toward improving access to healthy foods in their community.
The event was a success! Community members including students, teachers, parents, and Councilman Price visited the market and were provided a store tour led a youth team member to witness the various changes achieved by the students. Councilmember Price was especially surprised over the enthusiasm and dedication the students demonstrated during the event, expressing the need for their involvement at more market conversions along the Great Streets selected segment of Central Ave. (between MLK and Vernon).
Demolicious Frugeez is one of four youth teams in the Health Academy after school program. The program has worked to empower youth to be change agents and leaders within their school and local community, an issue also on the list of priorities for Council Member Price’s New 9th Campaign. Students recognize the need to promote more healthier lifestyles in their community and with these efforts they hope, as youth, to be at the forefront of these changes.
Check out the changes and purchase fruits and vegetables at La Favorita market at 1320 E 41st St, Los Angeles, CA.