By Conner Tighe
The Thomas Park and Avondale Neighborhoods faced a growing food scarcity years back because of low economic access to food, a lack of transportation to the nearest supermarket—South Walmart, and mobility issues, according to Ross Community Center’s executive director Jacqueline Hanoman.
She started the community market back in May 2019 in response to these issues. “It was my brainchild,” says Hanoman. “I conceptualized the market to be a fertile space of community engagement, emotional and nutritional well-being, and access to food and nonessential food items.”
Every Friday, the gymnasium area of the Ross Center would be filled with locals enjoying a supermarket-like setup featuring food items, hygiene products, child and adult diapers, books, toys, and clothes. The market was a social event, where members of the community would chat, drink coffee, juice, and enjoy healthy snacks. Recipes for foods were distributed to those interested in delicious cooking. A sense of diversity was created and has stuck with the market even after the pandemic. Second Harvest Food Bank has been helping bring healthy foods to the markets over the years.
Community markets are ongoing every Friday from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. for free.
Featured Image: Courtesy of Taylor Bowers