Staying with the Health and Wellness example, this is a single row of the matrix of resident-identified solutions – the full chart is available as a handout.One issue that residents emphasized time and again was the lack of affordable, fresh food and vegetables – what they were describing was a food desert and the issue of food insecurity. They suggested a number of ways to address this issue. Residents suggested:Community GardenIncreased # of Restaurants offering healthy foodFarmers MarketLocal Grocery StoreTransportation Program Looking at the need, and the Partners & Resources we had available – Residents decided that a farmers market was the way to go for the immediate term.St. Andrew offered a piece of property, MRDC designed a site plan, HMCT and SoMe Farmers Market Volunteers became the market start up committee recruiting vendors, marketing, etc. Within 6 weeks – got a site plan, worked with Land Use Control Board, Got City Council Approval, recruited vendors, marketed the Farmers Market, Part of the reason we were able to get the approval so quickly was all of the work and resident support base we had bulit for the planAll Volunteer enterprise; cost of first season was $2700, which included permits, port-a-potties, paint for the mural (see photo above), etc.
The Green Machine Routing Meeting
The Memphis GreenMachine: A Mobile FoodMarket for the Bluff CityPromoting Food Security in Memphis’ Poorest Neighborhoods Saint Patrick CommunityOutreach Center, Vance Avenue Choice Neighborhood, U ofM, Healthy Memphis Common Table, and MATA
Origins of the Proposal Memphis was successful in securing a HUD Choice Neighborhood Planning Grant for the Vance Avenue community The goal of this grant is to create and implement a comprehensive transformation plan designed to improve the overall quality of life Food access was identified by local stakeholders as one of the neighborhood’s top three redevelopment issues at its very first meeting in July of 2011
What do we know? Tennessee is 47th in overall health 4 of 10 top causes of death within TN are food-related diseases Health challenges facing the state are most profound in high-poverty areas such as Vance Avenue
A Snapshot of Vance Avenue Total population of 3,800 Median income is less than one – third that of the state Approximately three in four families live in poverty Less than one in three families have access to private automobiles Nearest groceries are located 2.5 and 3.0 miles from the neighborhood Families are forced to purchase a disproportionate share of their groceries from local convenience stores – not a great option!
Impressive Gains Achieved by the Memphis Food Security Movement! Increase in community gardening New neighborhood-based farmers markets Higher rate of CSA participation New efforts to attract full service supermarkets Removal of cumbersome regulatory barriers – UDC Changes Still, many poor families lack basic access to fresh, affordable, and culturally appropriate foods, especially fruits and vegetables
Why a mobile food Market? Steering Committee Formation Evaluation Creation of Research Design Increasing Data Awareness Choice Collection Intelligence Data Analysis Implement the Plan Visioning Design of Design Action Plan Goal Selection of Formation Specific Objectives
Community Nutrition Initiative Immediate Intermediate Long Term Year 1 & 2 Year 3 & 4 Years 4-7 Common Ground Garden Spring Health Fair Local Foods Initiative Organized local parish Organize local community, Provide access to healthy members and community health, and cultural foods and culturally- residents to develop a organizations for an annual appropriate nutritioncooperatively produced and spring fair where residents of information via a mobile foodmanaged community garden. Foote Homes have the store. Use this program to Local re-entry program helps opportunity to listen to music, meet an initial need and tend the garden in return for receive health information, demonstrate the existence offresh herbs. Youth sell canned participate in health a local market. Build upon this items at South Memphis screenings, and get referrals to success to create a Farmers Market. There is no local providers. cooperatively owned food fence! store that could be replicated.
We have Oprah to Thank! Vance Avenue Choice Neighborhood Initiative formed a Food Security Taskforce under the leadership of Cathy Winterburn to investigate “best practices” Initial research focused on “pop-up” retail stores Through Oprah Magazine the group learned about Chicago’s highly successful FRESH MOVES – mobile food market The Taskforce subsequently contacted Fresh Moves, established a relationship and began benchmarking and strategic business planning
FRESH MOVES in a Nutshell! Newly organized non-profit dedicated to addressing food access in Chicago Secured a retired CTA bus With the help of Architecture for Humanity transformed it into an attractive mobile food market Makes fifteen stops each week at public and non-profit agencies where they sell high quality, farm fresh, fruits and vegetables to those without access to full service markets Hopes to be self-sufficient in three years.
The Green Machine Scheme Retrofit a MATA bus to serve as a mobile farmers market and nutrition/wellness teaching/learning space (ADA Accessible) Make regular stops (2-3 hours) at three locations each day, within underserved city neighborhoods, Mondays Through Fridays Sell high quality, farm fresh, culturally appropriate fruits, vegetables, and dried goods Offer regular give-aways to encourage families to try new (healthy) choices Also, provide attractive and easy to read nutritional, health, and wellness information and counseling Accept all forms of payment via a wireless EBT system Make a serious effort to monitor and evaluate the impact of the bus adjusting our goods and services accordingly (participatory formative evaluation)
Getting the Bus Rolling in Memphis! FRESH MOVES and AFH has provided invaluable technical assistance regarding adapting the bus, sourcing, staffing, and pricing MATA has leased us a bus for $1 a year and provided critical technical assistance in terms of retrofitting, ADA compliance, security, servicing and advertising info St. Patrick Community Outreach Center has agreed to manage the bus project Archer-Malmo has helped with naming, branding, and promotion of the bus
Additional Help From Our Friends! Looney Ricks Kiss has provided Healthy Memphis Common Table alternative retrofit designs and has has offered to serve as the project’s prepared detailed construction fiscal agent drawings Mid-South Food Bank has agreed to Annie Bass, an African offer some free food items, nutrition American/women owned firm, has education materials, as well as agreed to undertake the actual supply and logistics assistance retrofitting Met with Tony Geraci of the MCS UT Nursing Program is providing regarding cooperation on siting and health data, a workable evaluation education framework, and nutrition education Easy Way has agreed to work with us materials as our primary supplier Channel Five, the Commercial The City has agreed to help with Appeal and the Memphis Flyer have siting, marketing, and electrical provided excellent news coverage supply to reduce idling emissions Met with Urban Farms/BCDC to Growing list of financial supports – explore collaboration on supply The Community Fund and FedEX
THE PROCESS Finalizing market research using Population and Business Census Data and GIS Tweaking the business model as a social enterprise with a Year Four Break-Even Point Established An Advisory Group: SPOC, HMCT, U of M, and UT Nursing (MSFB) to oversee operations Identified a physical home for the business: St. Patrick Learning Center Finalize supply arrangements Complete the needed fundraising Determine initial routing and stops Recruit, hire, and train staff (Regional farmers and wholesalers) Prepare for launch (September 17, 2012)
Final Take – Our USP It addresses a critical need in a creative manner that has already been tested It emerged from a community-based and resident-led process (buy-in) A unique partnership of public, private, non-profit organizations have come together to make it happen We have an experienced and able sponsor with inspired leadership – St. Patrick’s (50 years of food ministry in the heart of the city) The University has demonstrated an ability to get these projects done (South Memphis Farmers Market) The project is unique in its ability to become self-sustaining Advances other critical community development objectives: living wage employment, neighborhood stabilization, place-making Its flexibility allows us to respond to changing needs; what if we get a store in Uptown – Great! Shift the bus to another neighborhood! Potential to add new services: diabetes education and exchange; the bread truck? Lays the foundation for a community-based, neighborhood-controlled producer/consumer food coop – WeBe’s (Inspired by DuBois call for a cooperative approach to economic development within the African American community.
Routing Criterion Minimum density threshold – 1,000 family per Census Tracts High poverty areas – Census Tracts exceeding 40% below poverty Distance from healthy food sources- full service supermarkets, farmers markets and Easy Ways High density affordable housing complexes Major arterials easy for buses to travel and offering high visibility (Existing MATA routes)
5 Weekly Routes3 – 5 Stops Daily1. Center City2. South Memphis3. Midtown East4. Uptown/North Memphis5. Raleigh/Frayser
Funding OpportunitiesAny we’ve missed? Community Poplar Foundation Reginald Foundation United Way Wurzburn Baptist Foundation Memphis John Dustin First Tennessee Leadership Buckman Assisi International Hope Christian Grizzlies Paper Hershey Boardman Rise Rose Hyde FedEx Blue Cross Blue Plough Autozone Shield Foundation Kemmons Wilson BNSF Memphis Bioworks Women’s Foundation Belz Foundation
For More Information The Memphis Green Machine A project of the Vance Avenue Choice Neighborhood Initiative Saint Patrick Community Outreach Center Inc. 277 South Fourth Street Memphis, Tennessee 38126 901-527-2542 www.stpatsmemphis.org