Fresh Food Coming Back to Northside | Update on Save-a-lot Replacement
Bridging the Health Gap’s “Healthy Corner Store Network” is coming to Northside. The Network’s goal is to increase access to healthy foods in communities where healthy, affordable foods are not readily available. Each store receives assistance in introducing new healthy items and receives in-store training and support. Marketing signage is placed in the store. Each store that is chosen is also provided with appropriate refrigeration equipment. Another component is educating community members on healthy eating. They have access to a distribution network to help source fresh produce.
Currently, the fresh produce is provided by Green Bean Delivery to three stores in Avondale, one in Walnut Hills and one in the West End. The Healthy Corner Store Network is planning to expand to West End, Lower Price Hill, Northside, Mt. Auburn, and South Cumminsville.
Sandy Hamilton has completed the community surveys of all 53 food outlets in Northside. Everywhere she went, there were people expressing a need for improving the availability of fresh produce. Rick Schaeper has expressed an interest in the program. The next step will be to review the data and work with one or more merchants in the community to host the Healthy Corner Store program.
The Union Coop Grocery Store initiative is progressing. Chris Cooper of the Ohio Employee Ownership Center has been contracted to conduct a feasibility study of developing a chain of coop grocery stores in East Walnut Hills, College Hill, Northside and Avondale. The Union plans to build on the surveys that have already been conducted by Sandy and Happen, Inc., of community needs for accessible quality food. They hope to begin conducting the expanded survey in December with the help of volunteers. They are negotiating with Kroger to provide their house brands to the stores. The goal is to finish the study by February and begin opening stores shortly thereafter. Heather Sturgill gave Cooper a tour of Northside to help identify potential sites (including the vacant Save-a-lot store) and get a feel for the community. Mary Jo Minerich agreed to provide her mock-ups of what the store could look like and the marketing information she has gathered.
To get involved or for more information contact Barry Schwartz who convened the task force to work on the Sav-a-lot replacement initiative.
The next meeting is January 8, 6;30 – 8:00 at McKie
BY BARRY SCHWARTZ
Barry is a retired city planner and is currently a board member of the Northside Community Council, the Northside COP team, and the steering committee of the Northside Comprehensive Land Use Plan Update.