Warm weather is back, and fresh fruits and veggies are again appearing at farmer’s market stands around the city. For Druid Hill Park, the weekly summertime tradition returns this Wednesday outside the Rawlings Conservatory and Botanic Gardens.
Tag: food desert
A weekly farmer’s market is coming to Greenmount West, offering new options to neighborhood residents for fresh produce, healthy meals and other goods.
Even if the entire State Center development project doesn’t move ahead as originally planned, some area residents say they would like to see one part of it, the historic Fifth Regiment Armory, be converted into a grocery store.
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.
According to the USDA, a food desert is a place where residents don’t have access to fresh, healthy foods. Food deserts lack farmer’s markets and good grocery stores; instead, they have fast food, poorly stocked corner stores, and few options.
As planning for what to do with the vacant lot in the heart of Charles Village (that grassy expanse between 32nd and 33rd Streets, along St. Paul Street) began to develop, there was some talk of bringing in a grocery store to anchor the space. But that won’t be happening, according to Armada Hoffler, the developer of the site, because Charles Village residents are afraid that a larger grocery store would run beloved local market Eddie’s out of business.
Erich March and his wife, Michele Speaks-March, were sick and tired of watching neighbors in their East Baltimore community die of preventable conditions like diabetes and hypertension. Why were these illnesses so incredibly rampant in their area? Erich and Michele, who co-own the March Funeral Homes, blamed the dearth of food-shopping options nearby. They put their heads together to brainstorm a solution to food-desert problem plaguing the Oliver, South Clifton, and Darley Park neighborhoods in the greater North Avenue neighborhood. Their light bulb of a simple, practical idea is inspiring, because they’re putting it into daily practice.
According to Baltimore City officials, one fifth of city residents live in a food desert (a neighborhood with little access to fresh and healthy food). That’s a full 125,000 people who’ll have a greater risk for obesity and health problems in part because they don’t have access to affordable, nutritious things to eat. Lucky for us, the city is tackling the problem head on, starting with a new map showing the on-the-ground reality of food deserts in Baltimore (can you spot the typo?) and extending to all sorts of innovative and ambitious programs to get fresh food into all corners of the city. Here are a few that we find particularly interesting:
We’re excited to hear that Reservoir Hill is taking community gardens to the next level: as of this week, the neighborhood will boast the first corner store to sell fresh produce that’s been grown on a formerly-vacant lot in the community. If ever there was a low-key way to combat food deserts, this might be it.