Healthy Food Access
An area that was previously deemed a food desert by the US Department of Agriculture now accommodates what has the potential to be one of the most innovative inner-city food access projects in the country.
BBC’s Healthy Food Access program affords families in the Kinsman neighborhood and throughout the Cleveland area access to fresh, wholesome, and nutritious foods, right in their own community.
The project aims to address a substantial lack of access to healthy foods with a three-prong approach:
- In a neighborhood with no other options besides fast food, a cafe-style restaurant offers a wide array of healthy sandwiches and wraps, salads, soups, and baked goods has opened at Bridgeport Place, adjacent to BBC’s office. Fruits, vegetables, and herbs grown locally by market gardeners in the Urban Agriculture Innovation Zone and other locations in the neighborhood are available for purchase.
- CornUcopia Place accommodates a community kitchen, which will host at least fifty cooking classes and demonstrations each year for residents to learn how to cook healthy meals. The community kitchen also allows space for urban agriculture entrepreneurs to clean, prepare, and package their produce for sales and distribution.
- Lastly, the Bridgeport Mobile Market enables locally grown fruits and vegetables to be delivered to households both within the community and other Cleveland neighborhoods. The mobile market also remains stationary in key locations and events and vends produce directly from the vehicle. The mobile market will be especially effective in areas in which a grocery store is not in proximity and will alleviate travel burdens for households without automobiles, individuals with disabilities, and large families that may be headed by a single parent.
BBC’s concept received funding from the US Department of Health and Human Services, with support from many others. Bridgeport Cafe and CornUcopia Place opened in September 2012.
Bridgeport Cafe was recently featured in a Cleveland Plain Dealer article, which can be accessed here.