Posts Tagged ‘north side’

Today was the first time the Wingnut Anarchist Collective brought the Food Bank’s Mobile Food Pantry to Southern Barton Heights.

Prior to today’s event, the Wingnuts had distributed 100 food vouchers throughout the neighborhood. The Food Bank truck arrived at 12 and we helped the awesome folks from the  Food Bank set up the tables and distribution. By 1 there was already a long line of folks waiting for food.

Over 115 people went through the line today to get food. They represented 392 people in the Southern Barton Heights Neighborhood, based on the number of folks in the households they were representing.68 children, 153 adults, and 71 seniors.

Food that was given out included: Romaine Lettuce, Soup, Fig Newtons, Pop Tarts, Cereal, Spaghetti and Meat Balls, Green Beans, Pears, Sweet Potatoes, Juice, Pasta, Crackers, Bagels, Pancake Mix, Salsa, and Turkey.

There will be 100 vouchers available for the event next month  at the Wingnut at 2005 Barton Avenue. The event will be on the second Saturday of August, which is August 14th, and 1pm, at the Parking Lot adjacent to the Goal Post restaurant at 2400 North Avenue.

A recent post on the Church Hill People’s News website shows some of the issues that Church Hill faces in regards to accessing affordable, healthy food. Southern Barton Heights, Brookland Park, Battery Park, and Highland Park all face similar challenges as Food Deserts. There are no grocery stores in our neighborhood. There are corner stores which typically have a smaller, less quality, and more expensive selection – in addition to fewer open hours than many grocery stores. The closest grocery store to our neighborhood is the Kroger at Lombardy and Broad. Residents without personal vehicles are forced to either walk, bike, or take the bus. Aside from that they only have access to what the corner stores have to offer.

There are other challenges on the people in low income food deserts. The public transportation system in Richmond, namely the GRTC, has been cutting routes over the past couple years. And last night city council just voted to pass a bus fare hike. Additionally, there are no bike shops in Southern Barton Heights to help people who do ride bikes maintain their equipment.

Food Politics and access to affordable, healthy food are not isolated issues. They are tied into to many issues around class and race. There are reasons why certain areas do not have the access they need. Working with groups like the Richmond Transit Rider’s union can be ways to take a more holistic approach to the problem of food access in our communities. (more…)