Good morning, Nooga. 👋 Ready for some good news? The Chattanooga Sustainable Food Center is asking the community to provide feedback about a grocery store coming to Highland Park.
The grocery store, Gaining Ground, aims to increase food accessibility + nutrition in the Highland Park area. Right now, there isn’t a central grocery store with fresh produce in Highland Park — there are a few tiendas along E. Main Street, but that leaves only the southern end of the neighborhood with easily accessible options. To put it simply, if you don’t have reliable transportation, you don’t have a lot of grocery options. Places like this are called “food deserts,” and according to a WDEF report from February of this year, 30,000 Chattanoogans live in a food desert.
This grocery store will be a much-needed addition to the community. 🙌
Nutritionist Holly Martin — former manager of the Main St. Farmers Market — is taking on this project. In this article, she’s quoted saying, “It all starts with food.” Holly wants to create a better relationship with food, especially for communities that don’t have options readily available. Gaining Ground will be like a brick-and-mortar farmers market in the St. Andrews Center, building connections between farmers and the community.
This summer a bodega-like concept will open in the St. Andrews Center offering fresh produce — think seasonal fruits + veggies — and possibly some bulk bins. Think of it as a mini version of the soon-to-be grocery store. 🍅
Once fully open + operating, the center plans to offer seasonal cooking classes, a commercial kitchen available to rent, school programs, and affordable produce.
Gaining Ground still needs funding and the more support they get, the sooner they can open. You can help right now by taking this survey and requesting more information about helping fund the project.
From this post on the Chattanooga Sustainable Food Center Facebook page, “Our organization is focusing intently on food access, education, and engagement.”