The phrase “food desert” has become more common in recent years. The US Department of Agriculture defines urban food deserts as low income communities where a third of the community lives more than a mile from a grocery store. A mile may not sound far, but limited transportation makes healthy food inaccessible to many urban residents.
In fact, in the Atlanta area, more than half a million people live in what the USDA would identify as food deserts. As you would expect, diminished access to healthy food choices can lead to poor nutrition, obesity, and diet-related health concerns.
Food is a problem that inspires solutions, and FCS Community Economic Development has been working to introduce a “food oasis” to our South Atlanta neighborhood. We believe there is a sustainable business solution to the issue of food in our community.
As 2015 dawns, we are already preparing for the launch of the grocery store. A new thrift store is opening up in our community, allowing us to transform our South Atlanta Marketplace thrift store space into the new Carver Neighborhood Market. Sales have been going on for weeks as neighbors take advantage of the transition to get some fantastic deals!
Plans are moving forward, and you can follow the developments on the market’s Facebook and Twitter pages. FCS’s social media will provide updates as well, and you can follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
Interested in helping us launch this innovative project? Here are a few ways you can help:
- Volunteer - We’ve got several small group projects available for February. For details, contact Jeff (jeff at fcsministries dot org).
- Meet a need - We are looking for partners who can help with our website, connect us to local food growers and/or suppliers, or donate materials for flooring and ceiling. If you or someone you know can help, please contact Jeff as well.
- Donate - Supporters inside and outside of the community have raised close to what we need to launch the store. Please consider a gift to push this project forward. You can give here.
It’s exciting work, and neighborhood residents are eager to see the Carver Neighborhood Market become a reality. We hope that in the near future, our community will no longer be labeled a food desert. There is so much hope around creating a neighborhood space that benefits the health and community-building life of our neighborhood.