Our health committee identified the need to increase access to healthy food after a listening campaign with residents. Residents are frustrated by the food environment in Central West Baltimore and would like more place to purchase low-cost, high-quality produce. We mapped every place in 21217 where residents can purchase fresh produce vs where residents can purchase hard liquor. The ratio is 10 to 1. In Sandtown, the ratio is 16 to 0.
Since identifying this priority issue, the Coalition has surveyed and interviewed over 300 residents about what food they would like in their neighborhood. We have had an overwhelmingly consistent response: residents want access to low-cost, high-quality produce. To test resident interest in low-cost, high-quality produce we organized a pop-up produce market on Pennsylvania Ave. The market was successful and sold out. Since then, we have built on the market’s success to bring long-term solutions to our food desert by improving the existing food retail infrastructure.
The No Boundaries Coalition has recruited and engaged 9 resident food advocates and 3 other active volunteers. Through our partnership with the Baltimore City Health Department, 4 local corner stores are stocking healthier foods. The Coalition has held a photo shoot and designed an ad campaign that will launch in fall 2015 to support the new foods in the corner stores.
The Coalition is currently working to increase access to healthy food by…