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Get fresh food back into Lincoln Park

Lincoln Park’s Fair Food Access project has been chosen as a national finalist for a Facebook voting campaign called “Cause an Effect,” through State Farm Insurance. Ten clicks of your mouse could mean $25,000 for this project.  Voting ends at midnight tonight, May 17. Use your Facebook time for good — follow this direct link to vote.

For over 30 years, the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Duluth has gone without a grocery store, relying on gas stations and convenience stores to meet the food security needs of the community. There are no grocery stores within a one-mile radius of any part of the neighborhood and it is defined by the USDA as a “food desert.” The median household income is 45 percent below the state average, yet we pay exorbitant prices for food. In order to address the health and economic issues of the neighborhood, we must bring healthy, affordable food back into the neighborhood and into the houses of our citizens.

Lincoln Park residents spend $5.3 million on food each year — outside of their own neighborhood! With the help of $25,000, West End residents would be able to take ownership of their food access issue and organize a campaign to bring a grocer into the neighborhood — offering fresh, healthy, affordable foods to one of the poorest neighborhoods in the city. The project will offer sustainable food access for over 6,000 people.

Want to know more about this project and the connect with folks working on it?  E-mail lisa @ healthyduluth.org.

6 Comment(s)

  1. I don’t want to start a fire storm but do you really think an independent grocer can survive in a lower-income neighborhood when their main competitor Super One is just 2.5 miles down the bus line and will most likely offer the same products for less?

    I live smack in the middle of Lincoln Park and do the majority of my grocery shopping at Cub. I do have access to a vehicle which I know part of the pitch is that many in my neighborhood apparently don’t.

    natalie | May 17, 2012 | New Comment
  2. Good point Natalie. Actually two market studies have been done on the feasibility of a grocer in the neighborhood, and it is doable. Right now there is $5.3 million of food $ leakage from Lincoln Park, that doesn’t mean that all of that would be retained if a grocer moved into town, people still have preferences for shopping. Though, if we diversify the offerings, there is an opportunity to actually bring outside money into the neighborhood as well. In addition, there are a lot of innovative fresh food retailers that are outside of norm of traditional full-scale grocers that are popping up across the country -- everything to integrating fresh foods into gas stations to fresh produce being sold from converted ice cream trucks. Lots of possibilities, people working on this are really exploring out of the box for solutions to fair food access in LP. If you have ideas -- please share!

    healthyduluth | May 17, 2012 | New Comment
  3. Maybe they should have an urban fish farm in the West End.

    Paul Lundgren | May 17, 2012 | New Comment
  4. I probably participated in those market studies…

    I know many of the local gas stations have tried offering produce and stopped because they’d throw away so much.

    I don’t want to be just throwing out negativity on here but as I live in the neighborhood I’ve been hearing more and more about this and I’m just not sold that it’s the best thing to be investing time and money into.

    natalie | May 19, 2012 | New Comment
  5. Trader Joe’s!

    -Berv | May 24, 2012 | New Comment
  6. I just emailed them:

    Dear Trader Joe’s:

    Love your stores. We don’t have a Trader Joe’s up here in Duluth, Minnesota. The neighborhood of West End (aka Lincoln Park) doesn’t have a grocery store at all. (please see: “Get fresh food back into Lincoln Park.” A Trader Joes would work well located near the Duluth Grill, which is known around these parts for using local ingredients and making much of their food from scratch. West End could become a new food destination with the addition of a Trader Joe’s. A Trader Joe’s in West End would be far enough from, but not too far from, Whole Foods Co-op, so that there would be some healthy competition while preserving good access geographically for the citizens of this area. Thank you for your consideration.

    -Berv | Aug 26, 2012 | New Comment

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