Corner Store Chats
Ralph Sherrill, 64, rides his bicycle every morning around the West Trenton area. He makes frequent stops for an occasional breather especially with the summer heat building up. For Ralph, James Corner Store has been a constant place for him to stop for small things he might need or his usual lottery ticket. During the 2018 Heart Smarts Lessons series, Ralph was always one of the first people to come in the mornings. “I think that this is so amazing that you guys are doing this. This is definitely information that people need. Even someone like me and I keep myself healthy. I bike a lot and try to eat well but this helps. I appreciate what you guys are doing for the community” he says about the programming.
Ralph spoke about his experience growing up and realizing as he became older that many of the people in his family were diabetic. In particular he noticed that many of the older generation that ate fewer fruits and vegetables and were not as active were also the ones with diabetes. “I never thought about it before but I remember my uncle had to have his leg amputated. As I got older I realized why it happened and how Diabetes runs in my family. So knowing that, and that I’m 64 now, I need to make sure that I take care of myself.” His goal is simply to avoid many of the health issues that are very common in his family. “I’m just doing what I need to so I can live a good life and stay mostly free of medical issues.”
“What these lessons have done is help me come to stores like this and really take a look at what I’m buying. Of course I’m going to eat unhealthy stuff every once in a while but now when I do eat healthy I’m actually picking healthy options. I didn’t know that 100% Vitamin C juices aren’t actually 100% fruit juices so now I am going to be more careful.” Throughout our two years at James Corner Store more than half of our participants, much like Ralph, are people who continue to return and always come with their own questions and things that they have tried at home. Every time we set up we have people come in immediately, greet the owners Sun Ja and Young Hwang and come towards the Heart Smarts table with a smile and some questions.