Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Fresh Food & Baltimarket

It's no secret that Pigtown is in a food dessert desert.  This term means that there is no immediate access to affordable, healthy foods within a reasonable travel distance.  In fact, The Afro covered this issue in their article "Washington Village/Pigtown Struggles to Provide Healthy Food Options" back in December of 2010.

Southwest Cares has been working with local corner stores, asking that they provide fresh fruits & vegetables.  You, the consumer, have the most say.  Let your corner store know what you want them to carry.  That's why they're there.   

There are a couple stores that offer fresh food, and even deli meat:
  • Marty's Deli,  798 W Cross (Intersection of W Hamburg & W Cross) 410-685-1145
  • American Food Market, 1276 Washington Boulevard (Intersection of Wash Blvd & S Carey) 410-685-8289

View Food Markets in a larger map - I don't think these maps show up well in reader/e-mail, so visit PigtownHappens for a better view.

I noticed that Baltimore Food Co-op is opening up in Spring 2011 at 2800 Sisson St.  Hopefully, one day we will have our own full service grocer, or co-op!  I've been to the quaint store, Glut, a food co-op in Mt Rainier, MD just outside of DC that people from all over flock to.  If you go, it's clear to see why.  I also met a couple people who are starting one in Brunswick, MD.  They said they got grant money to go to conferences, and obtain information about starting a co-op.  Co-ops are businesses owned by lots of people in the community, sort of like owning shares.  In return, the share owners receive member-only discounts.  Want to start one in Pigtown?  Check the Food Co-op Initiative for info!

Don't forget the local farmers markets.  There is one on the west side at 400 N. Smallwood Street, by the MARC station.  That is open Saturdays 8am-noon.  Another over the bridge, down Hanover in the Harbor Hospital parking lot which falls on the last Thursday of the month from noon-4.  Lastly, there is the big farmers marker and bazaar under 83, corner of Holliday and Saratoga.  That's every Sunday from 7-noon. 

In the meantime, there's a great free delivery service that the city is offering called Baltimarket!  They know that not everyone can make it a grocery store to access healthy foods, and want to fill that gap.  If you ask me, a single parent should be able to raise her children healthfully (mentally and physically) and still make ends meet.  Sometimes that means not having the financial burden of a car.

Bless them for providing us with two locations.  George Washington Elementary:
And the Enoch Pratt Library:

Eric Jackson, the Community Health Organizer, showed up to the last Friends of Carroll Park meeting (every first Tuesday at 7pm, 1307 Washington Blvd).  He's graciously taking all sorts of ideas to promote this program and make it better.  He wants to hear from the community about why you haven't considered the program, and how it can be better run to suit your needs.  This is the only program of it's kind in the country!  Be a part of something awesome, that can help other areas in the future!

Promotion codes are coming out, so you can order from the privacy of your own computer.  Now that the elementary school location is available after 5, I'll have to check it out!  Working normal business hours made it impossible to participate at the library.  Payment is accepted in cash, EBT, debit, and credit.  With your first order, you will receive a free insulated bag, and $10 credit toward healthy foods.  You will get an addition $10 credit toward healthy food purchases with every 4th order.  In addition to those deals, people over 60 62 years of age will get a 10% 5% discount.  Sounds like there's no excuse NOT to try it out.  I believe Eric will even be talking about Baltimarket at the COP meeting (May 10th 7pm at 904 Washington Blvd).

So finally, what can we all do to make this wonderful program even better?  Consider helping your less physically able neighbors by offering to pick up or carry their groceries for them.  It's a good thing to do, and your community will be better for it.


  1. Good Stuff! Ps. Extra 's' in desert ;)

  2. Whoops! But who doesn't want to live in a food dessert?

    So what you're saying is... you want to be my editor ;) Done!

  3. There is also an Aldi on Washington Blvd in Morrell Park, and a Super Walmart on Washington Blvd in Landsdowne. There is a Shoppers on E Fort Ave in Locust Point, and don't forget Hollins Market... in well, Hollins Market. These have all been added to the above map!