Last week, Price Rite Marketplace, a discount grocery store chain, announced the closure of its location at the Mount Clare Junction shopping center, further expanding food deserts in Baltimore City’s low-income areas, Fern Shen reports for Baltimore Brew. At the same time, Giant Food announced the opening of a new store in the affluent neighborhood, Locust Point, highlighting the disparities in access to fresh meat, seafood, and produce that advocates say have been exacerbated by redlining and inaction by local politicians.
What actions are advocates pushing for city leaders to take?
Pigtown isn’t the only neighborhood affected by a lack of food markets, and residents in the largely Black neighborhoods of Cherry Hill, East Baltimore, Matthew Henson, Sandtown-Winchester, Bridgeview/Greenlawn and Harlem Park—known as the “Black Butterfly”— are urging the city to develop strategies to introduce healthy, affordable food options in these areas.
“Our elected officials have failed us miserably. It’s been eight years without a food market here and none in sight,” said Marvin L. “Doc” Cheatham Sr., president of the Matthew A. Henson Neighborhood Association.
The Baltimore Development Corporation said it has offered a package of incentives—including loan options, tax credits, and assistance programs—to the owner of the Mount Clare Junction shopping center to encourage new food stores in the area.
But some residents, including Kim Lane of Pigtown Main Street, are calling on the Mayor’s Office to take more immediate action. “We’re going to ask the BDC to bring the owners of that shopping center to the table and make something happen,” Lane said.
Anything else I should know?
Without an available grocery store during the holiday season, Lane said she is working with Paul’s Place to provide additional food for residents in need, and she also hopes to secure a grant to provide transportation for elderly and other residents to grocery stores in other areas.
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