Fourth Street in the Weinland Park area is extremely busy, and there are very limited cross walks. Most food in the area is on the west side of Fourth Street and the closest grocery store is as well. There are many abandoned stores, and most of the housing is on the east side of Fourth Street. The closest grocery store is Kroger on High Street which is a decent walk away. A lot of people in the area walk or use COTA so this is an issue. The 4Th Street Garden is a nice option for close, healthy food, but there is limited space to grow food. It is helping the problem, but it would have a larger impact if there was a larger quantity of produce. There are a couple of other similar gardens so there has been some progress. The most convenient places to get food are corner stores which lack healthy options, and carry out food places which are tasty, but not nutritional.
We would call the Weinland park area food insecure. There are good things happening with the arrival of these urban gardens, but we still believe there is a lot of work to be done because there is no variety of food options. The neighborhood can’t be called a food desert by definition because the Kroger on High Street is technically in the Weinland Park district, but it is in the least accessible place and far away from most of the residents in need. There are also not enough fast food places to call it a food swamp.
What Weinland Park needs is a grocery store with food options, but that is not a reality in the world we live in. A company would look at the area and see no potential for profit. In a completely economic analysis of building a store in the area there would be every sign to stay out you can think of. Until this fact changes some better temporary options would be to get some smaller produce markets to move in to some of the abandoned stores, or set up a system of food truck style produce trucks. The urban gardens are great, but they can definitely be improved.