1 Apple a Day

 

Two USF students open up local grocery store on Nebraska Avenue to serve a low-income area.

 

 

By Amy Mariani

USF News

 

TAMPA, Fla. (April 18, 2012) – Most people save for a rainy day. Two University of South Florida students put their rainy day money towards bringing a little sunshine to a Tampa neighborhood.

 

Andrea Little and Hector Angus put their heads and wallets together to open 1 Apple Grocery. Located at 8614 N. Nebraska Ave., the co-founders hope to create a “food oasis” in this “food desert.” The grocery store opened in December and accepts WIC vouchers and EBT.

 

Angus said many in the neighborhood “rely mainly on financial help from the government, like EBT and WIC programs,” but “don’t have produce, fruits and vegetables, nutritious foods available to them.” Angus said the store tries to provide fresh fruits and vegetables at cheaper prices than the local chain supermarkets.

 

When Little worked for the Florida Department of Health, she saw firsthand the needs and struggles of those who receive government assistance.

 

“Although there are a lot of education programs to bring awareness to the public, there’s not a whole lot of effort at improving it at the business level,” Little said.

 

Little’s experience allows her to help the customers read their WIC vouchers and provide them with the right products.

 

“It’s better than the grocery store,” said customer Shy-Tiana Guion, who added she plans on coming back.

 

Angus and Little said they hope that by providing the tools to make better choices, those in the community can live a healthier lifestyle.

 

And the name?

 

“An apple a day keeps the doctor away,” Angus said. It also puts their name at the top of any listing.

 

Amy Mariani can be reached at amy@amymariani.com.