Chula Vista "Cilantro to Stores" Program

Chula Vista Cilantro to Stores Program

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About the Program

The Cilantro to Stores program aims to increase access to local, fresh farmed fruits and vegetables in Western Chula Vista by working with four corner stores.  This program contributes to the local economy for both farmers and local corner stores and to the health of the environment by providing more healthy food choices.  New equipment and furnishings have been installed in the four stores to create the capacity to stock, merchandise and sell fresh fruits and vegetables, which are sold by local certified farmers.  The program helps to establish a distribution system with local certified farmers, and also provides technical assistance to the storeowners on the handling and storage of produce.


The program is made possible by a federal pass-through grant from SANDAG's Healthy Community Planning Grant Program.  SANDAG is a partner of the County of San Diego's Healthy and Human Services Agency (HHSA), which received a $16.1 million grant from the Communities Putting Prevention to Work funding program.  Cilantro to Stores is administered by the City of Chula Vista in conjunction with the San Diego County Childhood Obesity Initiative facilitated by the Community Health Improvement Partners.  Additional funds are provided by the City of Chula Vista.  Other program partners include:  the Network for a Healthy California; HHSA South Region; the Institute for Public Strategies (IPS); Neighborhood Market Association; Chula Vista Elementary School District; Neighborhood Market Association; and San Diego State University.

Store Partners

The four stores that are currently participating in the program include:

  • Broadway Liquor, 151 Broadway, Chula Vista, CA  91910
  • Bobar Market & Gas #8, 600 F Street #A, Chula Vista, CA  91910
  • Sunset Market and Liquor, 985 Broadway, Chula Vista, CA  91911
  • Eagle Liquor Market, 1296 3rd Avenue, Chula Vista, CA 91911


Fresh produce has been available at the stores since December 2011.  During the months of July and August, a program Advisory Committee assisted staff to select four stores in Western Chula Vista based on their location and access, merchant's willingness to participate in the program, business activity and store infrastructure.  In September and October, staff worked with the store owners to identify the specific areas in their stores and compatible equipment and furnishings to be placed in the stores.  In November, staff identified farmers to participate in the program and developed a plan for distribution.  Grant funding will initially support the stores' efforts to sell produce and the stores will continue the program for a minimum of one year.

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Cilantro to Stores Case Study

This report details the Cilantro to Stores program described above, including an overview of project and partners, sales data, successes, challenges, lessons learned, etc.

Made possible by funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, through the County of San Diego.

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Quick Facts

  • If today‚Äôs current trend continues, it is anticipated that 1 in 3 children born in the US after the year 2000 will develop type 2 diabetes (American Diabetes Association, 2009).
  • More children are being diagnosed with diseases linked to overweight and obesity previously seen only in adults, such as Type 2 diabetes and heart disease (The Obesity Society, 2009).
  • One in four children in San Diego County is overweight or obese; this is slightly higher than the national average (California Center for Public Health Advocacy, 2009)

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