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Mayor of Houston, Texas launches Initiative focusing on increasing access to affordable, fresh and nutritious food

With high hopes of more to come, Mayor Annise Parker, Council Members Stephen Costello and Dwight Boykins, the Houston Redevelopment Authority (HRA) and others broke ground on the first project to target a Houston food desert.  With financial assistance from the city, Pyburn’s owner John Vuong is building a first-class grocery store to serve South Union and surrounding neighborhoods.  The store is scheduled to open the first quarter of 2015.

“Everyone deserves the opportunity to purchase healthy food for their family,” said Yael Lehmann, Executive Director of The Food Trust.  “We applaud this initiative by the City of Houston to increase access to grocery stores in underserved areas,” Lehmann said.

The City is providing a performance-based loan of $1.7 million for predevelopment, land acquisition, construction and equipment. The total project cost is estimated to be $3.7 million. Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds awarded to the Houston Redevelopment Authority for economic development projects will be used for the project.  Funding is available for additional projects and HRA will work with potential partners on a case-by-case basis to determine eligibility for building or revitalizing grocery stores in food desert areas.

Read more here


Following Casey effort, The Food Trust wins grant to keep successful Night Market Food Truck events going in Philadelphia

U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) announced that following his effort, Philadelphia’s Food Trust has been awarded a $150,000 grant that will allow the successful Night Markets food truck events to continue.  The Night Markets have brought food trucks to neighborhoods across Philadelphia- showcasing the city’s entrepreneurs and stimulating economic activity in local communities. With the food truck industry growing in the city, the Night Markets have had an $11 million impact on the city’s economy. 

Read more here


Night Markets get support from City

From the Philadelphia Business Journal:

"It looks like more Night Markets are on the horizon in the city as the Department of Commerce announced that a series of grants were awarded in support of the Food Trust Night Markets as well as the commercial corridor enhancement in Philadelphia."

Read more here


Michelle Obama describes the work of The Food Trust, The Reinvestment Fund & GPUAC as "groundbreaking"

First Lady Michelle Obama traveled to Philadelphia to discuss federal funding for a Healthy Food Financing Initiative which will increase the availability of affordable, healthy foods in underserved urban and rural communities, particularly through the development of grocery stores and other healthy food retailers.

"...And I have to finally thank a few others:  the Food Trust.  (Applause.)  The Reinvestment Fund.  (Applause.)  And the Greater Philadelphia Urban Affairs Coalition.  (Applause.)  You all have done extraordinary and some could say revolutionary work here in this city.  And as you all have said consistently, you couldn't do it without each other.  That has been the resonating message.  So you all should be very proud to be highlighted here today for the work that you've done.  It's really groundbreaking, and hopefully will set the tone for what we can do throughout the country."

Read the full transcript here


Study finds positive changes in the food environment after an urban corner store intervention

A new study published in Preventive Medicine found that The Food Trust's corner store interventions aimed at increasing healthy food availability are associated with improvements in the availability of low-fat milk, fruits, and some vegetables, especially when infrastructure changes, such as refrigeration and shelving enhancements, are offered.

Read more here


Farmers' Market and Philly Food Bucks Report 2013

Farmers’ markets and the Philly Food Bucks program contribute to the health of Philadelphia residents by increasing the availability and affordability of nutritious food. In 2013, The Food Trust continued its work to provide low-income, high-need residents of Philadelphia with sources of fresh, local fruits and vegetables. 
 

The Food Trust, Partnership for a Healthier America, Philadelphia Water Dept launch Drink Up Philly campaign

Philadelphia launches the first citywide initiative as part of a far-reaching national effort to encourage people to drink more water every day.
 
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. (May 8, 2014) – The Food Trust joined The Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA), officials from the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, Philadelphia Water Department and other partners to announce Drink Up Philly, an initiative to encourage Philadelphia residents to make a choice to improve their health and well-being: drink more water.
 
This is the first citywide roll-out of the national Drink Up effort led by PHA which has already engaged millions of people and brought together supporters from the public and private sector.
 
The initiative is designed to increase the availability and marketing of water in Philadelphia through The Food Trust’s network of corner stores, schools, farmers’ markets, and Night Market events, reaching more than half a million residents with the message that water is a healthy choice.
 

Old City Night Market

From Fox 29

The Food Trust Night Market staff and Old City Night Market vendor, Prime Stache are interviewed about Old City Night Market.

See here.


Night Market Outdoor Street Festival In Old City Kicks Off

From Fox 29

The Night Market Outdoor Street Festival kicked off in Old City on Thursday.

Dozens of vendors are gearing up for a celebration of food and music.

The festival showcases the city’s diverse neighborhoods and food by partnering with local restaurants, food trucks, regional musicians and dynamic artists.

The Night Market will be held on four Thursday evenings, in four different neighborhoods.

After the Old City Market on Thursday, May 15th the festival continues with Night Markets in West Oak Lane on June 19, on Lancaster Avenue on August 21 and back in Chinatown on October 2.


Philly's 'Night Market' makes delicious return

"The arrival of warm weather in Philadelphia means the start of 'Night Market'
It's a great summer tradition, and the first of this year's events took place in Old City. They call it 'the roving street food festival,' and there was plenty of food to choose from."

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New program brings healthcare to your corner store

From 6abc

A new pilot program in Philadelphia aims to help improve people's health by setting up inside local corner grocery stores.

"I can think of no better place than a corner store in the neighborhood, unannounced, where folks come to have a nice conversation in a place they are comfortable with," said Dr. Jim Plumb, Jefferson Center for Urban Health.

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Olivares Food Market Goes the Extra Mile to Serve the Community

From Salud America

Before Olivares Food Market began selling and promoting healthier food options, the store looked like an average corner store. But Clara Santos soon learned she could make some changes that would impact the whole community.

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The Food Trust's Headhouse Farmers' Market ranked one of the "10 best spots for foodies" by USA Today

"...if you find yourself visiting Philly during the more tender months of the year, Headhouse is one of the best places for eaters, bar none. Exceptional locally-grown fruits and vegetables, pastured meats, sustainable seafood, excellent cheese, chocolate, there is so much inspiration to be found in the stalls of this historic marketplace. Stop for a cup of Bodhi coffee or a cup from Philly Fair Trade Roasters, pick up a Market Day Canele, and stroll the stalls."

Headhouse Farmers' Market re-opens May 4, 2014.

Read more here


Neighborhood Grocery Stores Combat Obesity, Improve Food Perceptions

From Health Affairs Blog

The Cummins et al article “New Neighborhood Grocery Store Increased Awareness of Food Access but Did Not Alter Dietary Habits or Obesity,” published in the February issue of Health Affairs, generated considerable media attention, with headlines claiming that grocery stores do not contribute to healthy diets or reductions in obesity. However, the study offered no conclusive proof showing that access to grocery stores is not a part of the solution to preventing obesity.

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Access to Healthy Food Improves Health, Brings Economic Benefits

From Huffington Post

Access to healthy food can bring triple bottom-line benefits to communities -- better health, new jobs, and a revitalized economy. But nearly 30 million Americans still live in low-income areas with limited access to supermarkets. The problem is particularly acute in low-income communities of color.

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Group aims to improve food at Pennsylvania corner stores

From Associated Press

January 2014 -- "We try to get people to try a sample, and in that process we talk to them about eating whole grains, and trying out new things, and showing them where healthy items are in their corner store," said [The Food Trust's] program educator Maria Vanegas.

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Circle Food Store in New Orleans opens after eight-year struggle to rebuild

From the Times-Picayune:

Over the past eight years, one question repeated all over town kept Circle Food Store owner Dwayne Boudreaux going in his fight to reopen the landmark 7th Ward grocery.

"They'd always ask me, 'When? When? When will Circle Foods open?" Boudreaux told a crowd gathered outside the store Friday.

"We weren't going to let anything get us down," he said.

[With help from the Fresh Food Retailer Initiative, a partnership of the City of New Orleans, HOPE Enterprises and The Food Trust], Boudreaux officially opened the doors of the store, surrounded by Mayor Mitch Landrieu, other city leaders, and bankers and developers who helped finance the $8 million renovation. A waiting line of customers, grocery carts in hand, snaked around the circular building.

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New report released on healthy food access and why it matters

Access to Healthy Food and Why It Matters:

cover of access to healthy food

Healthy food retailers—grocery stores; farmers’ markets; cooperatives; mobile markets; and other vendors of fresh, affordable, nutritious food—are critical components of healthy, thriving communities.

A new joint report by PolicyLink and The Food Trust, Access to Healthy Food and Why It Matters, provides an up-to-date review of the research. Three years since our 2010 report, The Grocery Gap: Who Has Access to Healthy Food and Why It Matters, the large volume of new research shows that improving healthy food access in low-income communities and communities of color continues to be an urgent need.

Without access to healthy foods, a nutritious diet and good health are out of reach. And without grocery stores and other fresh food retailers, communities are also missing the commercial vitality that makes neighborhoods livable and helps local economies thrive.

To learn more about why access to healthy food matters please read the executive summary and full report.
 


The Food Trust ranked #2 "high-impact" nonprofit in America in children's health and nutrition

In a study conducted by Philanthropedia, a division of GuideStar USA, The Food Trust ranked #2 in a list of the top nonprofits in America working in the field of child nutrition/health. 

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WHYY highlights Night Market Philadelphia

WHYY produced two videos highlighting Night Market Philadelphia, a seasonal, roving event that showcases the local food truck scene, supports local entrepreneurship, and is "revitalizing Philadelphia's communities."  Check out the videos here


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