Making Rain in this Food Desert

Local organizations working to make food accessible to Northside residents

With all the rain that we have had this summer you wouldn’t believe me if I told you that Northside is in a desert, would you? Northside is a food desert. There is no grocery store in the entire 45223 zip code. If residents need to visit a grocery store they have to travel to neighboring communities. CAIN-Churches Active in Northside is committed to increasing food access and providing nutrient-dense food to residents who are food insecure. CAIN was the driving force to have SNAP (food stamp) acceptance at the weekly Northside Farmers Market and promoting the double-up incentive “Produce Perks” program.

CAIN’s Executive Director MiMi Chamberlin remarks “ When a food pantry is the largest provider of fresh produce in a neighborhood, it indicates a breakdown in our common collective community life together. An easily accessible quality grocery store is important to all residents and even more so to people with limited transportation options.” However, there is hope for Northside. Local organizations and residents are working together to bring more food sources to this community. And the best part is that you can help too.

Every week all year round, residents can pick up fresh food at the Northside Farmers Market. Each week CAIN has a representative ready to accept donations for a campaign called “Another for a Neighbor.”

This is how it works: when you are at the Market purchasing your favorite food item, buy an extra. Bring it over to CAIN’s booth and it will be taken back to the pantry and made available the next day for families in need. Your donation will ensure that fresh and healthy food is available to everyone in the Northside food desert.

Image 2Another way to help your neighbors is through the Apple Street Market. You have probably seen the yard signs in your neighbor’s lawn, ran into your friend wearing an Apple Street Market button, and seen them marching in the 4th of July parade. Supporters of the market are working hard to bring not just rain but a monsoon to this desert.

CAIN is doing their part. Thanks to the Apple Street supporters, CAIN’s guests can sign up to be owners with a fee as little as $1. As of July 28th, CAIN has signed up over 100 owners. The Apple Street Market is still in need of your support. Please visit their website for more information.

With your help and support Northside will be able to turn into the beautiful oasis it is meant to be. In the meantime as we watch the weather, so to speak, help out those neighbors who are struggling to get food. Carpool to the grocery store. Invite them to the farmers market. Do what you can to make sure every Northsider is taken care of properly and is receiving the healthy and nutritious food they deserve.

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