Construction Begins for Baltimore Food Hub in Broadway East

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Courtesy of Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake/Twitter

A transformation is underway for a run-down 3.5-acre section of East Baltimore where city leaders say there will soon be plentiful space for urban farming, commercial production kitchens, job-training facilities and a fresh food market.

City and federal leaders, reps from nonprofits and developers and community residents gathered Tuesday afternoon at 1801 East Oliver Street in Broadway East for the Baltimore Food Hub’s groundbreaking ceremony.

One in four Baltimoreans live in so-called food deserts – places where residents cannot access fresh, healthy foods – according to a study by Johns Hopkins University researchers published last June. Those behind the Food Hub say the market that will be built there can help make a dent in that problem.

“It will make sure that the young men and women and senior citizens that inhabit this neighborhood don’t have to travel miles on the bus line or try to find a ride to get healthy, accessible food,” said U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Jay Williams, according to Baltimore magazine.

Community development partner American Communities Trust (ACT) has teamed up with social impact nonprofit Humanim to make the Food Hub a reality. ACT bought the property from the city for $500,000 in 2013, the Baltimore Business Journal reported.

The total cost for the project has been estimated at $23.5 million.

In addition to providing residents with new access to healthy choices, Mayor Rawlings-Blake said the project will produce dozens of new jobs and plenty of opportunity for food entrepreneurs in the area.

Rev. Reverend Donté L. Hickman, Sr., of the Southern Baptist Church on nearby North Chester Street, said at a press conference that the project could help to “serve an underserved, disinvested population in our city.”

“While we may not have a $660 million TIF, you have hearts that this community can be rebuilt for the benefit of its people and to the glory of God,” he said.

More information about Baltimore Food Hub available here.

Ethan McLeod
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Ethan McLeod

Senior Editor at Baltimore Fishbowl
Ethan has been editing and reporting for Baltimore Fishbowl since fall of 2016. His previous stops include Fox 45, CQ Researcher and Connection Newspapers in Northern Virginia. His freelance writing has been featured in Baltimore City Paper, Leafly, DCist and BmoreArt, among other outlets. He enjoys basketball, humid Mid-Atlantic summers and story tips.
Ethan McLeod
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