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IN THE NEWS
Bridgeport, Connecticut’s NRZ East End Pop-Up Market and Café and Mecklenburg County, North Carolina’s Village HeartBEAT initiative emerged today as the top community health projects of the Healthiest Cities & Counties Challenge, a partnership of the Aetna Foundation, American Public Health Association and National Association of Counties. (excerpt from article)
Incorporated in 2019, the East End NRZ Market & Café provides residents with an opportunity to purchase fresh, local produce that will combat the issue of unhealthy lifestyles that accompany this low-income community.
For years residents tried to lure groceries to Bridgeport’s East End, with little success. Since 2001, the East End Neighborhood Revitalization Zone’s main priority has been the establishment of a local place to provide access to healthy foods. One way residents tried addressing the “food desert” in the East End was through recent pop-up farmers markets. These markets provided residents with fresh, affordable produce right in their own neighborhoods. These pop-up markets, however, left residents searching for a more permanent solution to their lack of healthy food options.
Residents then took it upon themselves to establish a grocery store, based on a model that they can afford and that the community can sustain. After visiting Boston’s “Daily Table” Co-champions, Debbie Sims, Kristen Dubay-Horton and Deborah Caviness knew they had found the “Market” model that would work best for their community.
The East End NRZ Market & Café provides residents with access to healthy foods, job opportunities, and a local gathering place to build neighborhood cohesion. The East End NRZ Market & Café will host a variety of healthy living and job training programs for East End residents such as:
HEALTHY LIFESTYLE PROGRAMS
• Bridgeport Hospital’s Health Education & Wellness Workshops
• Adults and Youth Healthy Eating & Cooking Demonstrations by A Pinch of Salt’s Chef Raquel
• Executive Chef Caterers
DIETARY MANAGEMENT SERVICES
• Nutritional Counseling
• Diabetes Education & Management
BPT-OIC JOB TRAINING
• Customer Services & Life Skills Training
• Entrepreneurial Training
• ServSafe Food Handlers Training
GARDENING FOR BEGINNERS
• Seeding Knowledge
• Pax in Terra
VIOLENCE PREVENTION & MENTORING PROGRAMS
• Y.A.N.A. (You Are Not Alone)
• Project Longevity