Fresh produce now available at Edith’s Market
498 South Ford Boulevard Los Angeles, CA 90022
Fresh produce is not a phrase you hear often in East LA, just visit any corner store and you can see why. East LA is one of many food desert communities in the LA Basin. A food desert is a community where healthy affordable food is difficult to obtain. It’s not hard to imagine why East LA is a food desert; just walk down any street and you will soon find a fast food joint, faster than you can locate a market. And even when you do find a market, as you walk in you’re bombarded with chips, candy, ice cream, and advertising for alcohol. It’s no wonder why a child will sooner pick up a bag of takis than go on a search and rescue mission for healthy food. Okay that might not be the reason why a kid will pick up a bag of takis, it’s the millions of dollars in marketing and design that go into takis.
In East L.A., the common venue for food purchasing is the corner store. These stores are typically small, sole-proprietor owned businesses that sell alcohol, tobacco, snack foods, sodas, candy and very little fresh, high quality food products; some of these stores also prepare take-out foods that are high in calories, fat and salt. Unfortunately, of those fruits and vegetables, the produce is frequently bruised, damaged, wilting or moldy. Temple’s Center for Obesity Research and Education published in Pediatrics identified corner stores as a critical link in the food chain for children, finding that more than 1/2 the schoolchildren surveyed shopped at a corner store at least once a day, 5 times a week; almost 1/3 visited a store both before and after school.
LA CAUSA sought to change the East LA Food Desert into a Food Oasis and saw corner stores as the avenue in which to create that change. P.A.L.O.M.A. was created, which stands for People’s Affordable, Local, and Organic Market Alterations. PALOMA under LA CAUSA created a holistic approach addressing the food desert issue. The corner store alterations serve as replicable role models for profitable and thereby sustainable, healthy food retail in East L.A. We implement a comprehensive strategy that included: interior and exterior store renovation; storeowner training; business development; social marketing; education around healthy food behaviors; green jobs development and the use of energy efficiencies in alteration; workshops to train LA CAUSA youth in food systems, social marketing, health, nutrition, leadership and corner store alterations practices.
Edith’s Market which sits at 498 S. Ford Blvd, East LA 90022 is the first store to be transformed under PALOMA. It was 6 month processes which include the planning, design, education, community awareness and construction. We set our grand re-opening of Edith’s Market for December 2, 2011 at 2:35pm. Our audience was the Humphrey’s Elementary Community.
Once the students let out we handed out the organic apples and stickers to the students and parents. As the students and their parents walked over to the pavilion we began painting faces with strawberries, apples, peas, carrots, and more. As soon a crowed gather the food demo began, Food Blogger Nicole presented a fresh healthy kale salad and passed out samples. As part of the celebration we also had tours of the Humphery’s School garden with LA CAUSA helps maintain. At no time at all we were out of apples, over 700 organic apples where handed out that day thanks to Cooseman’s Shipping. At the cooking demonstration, students where asking for a second, third, fourth and even an eight sample. One of the Humphery’s students stated “this is the best thing I have eaten in school”. The face painting table had the longest line, with every student wanting a veggie on their face. The Grand Reopening was a huge success!
Thanks to our friends from the South Central Farmers here’s what available at the Market in terms of Organic and local.
Santa Fe Peppers
Edith’s Market now has a fresh new look, with fresh produce! And a fresh new start.