June 28, 2011
Last Saturday, Nick joined Congressman Earl Blumenauer, Multnomah County Chair Jeff Cogen, Janus Youth's Dennis Morrow, NW Health Foundation's Chris Kabel, and other partners at the New Columbia neighborhood in North Portland for an exciting celebration - the dedication of the Village Market at N Trenton and N Newman.
Six months ago, there was no source of groceries within a mile of North Portland's New Columbia neighborhood. Today, the market provides the community with healthy, fresh, affordable groceries (but no alcohol, tobacco, or lottery tickets). The store is conveniently-located and offers a safe and inviting environment for everyone, as well as jobs for youth and adults from the community.
A number of partners helped bring this market to life - Janus Youth, a citizen advisory group, Home Forward, the City, and others. (This isn't the first time Janus has been involved in the New Columbia neighborhood. In 2005, they helped to build the 24,000-square foot Seeds of Harmony community garden.)
We know the importance of healthy, affordable food options. Our 1,000 Gardens initiative will bring 1,000 new community garden plots to Portland by the end of 2012. Last year, we kicked the junk food out of our community centers. We're offering vendors at events in our parks incentives to provide healthy food choices. And our Summer Playground Program, which offers supervised activities at parks and community centers during the summer months, offers free, healthy lunches at most sites.
The opening of the Village Market is welcome news for thousands of New Columbia residents, and sets the stage for future community-led, healthy grocery stores statewide.