In 2007, the Job Opportunities Task Force released a report entitled Overpriced and Underserved: How the Market is Failing Low-Wage Baltimoreans. The study identified the lack of access to healthy food as a key problem facing many communities. Subsequently, Kids on the Hill (now New Lens) worked with a group of neighborhood teens to study the challenges of healthy eating in Reservoir Hill. The project analyzed the importance of proper nutrition, followed by a tour of stores within walking distance of Reservoir Hill. Armed with a list of basic healthy food products, the teens’ job was to identify where they could buy these products. Virtually none of the products on the list could be purchased within walking distance.
Reservoir Hill Improvement Council is working to coordinate the efforts of neighborhood healthy food advocates, explore ways to promote healthy food products in local stores, and collaborate with the City’s Food Policy Office on a Food Advocates Program in Reservoir Hill to promote healthy eating and local farmers’ markets. The Healthy Foods Team seeks to:
- Increase access to healthy, affordable groceries in Reservoir Hill.
- Increase public understanding of the importance of a healthy diet.
- Build a broader local market for healthy food.
In response, many groups in Reservoir Hill have been working to improve access to healthy food
The Whitelock Community Farm grows healthy, fresh, low-cost produce for people in our neighborhood. A group of residents has reclaimed a vacant lot and made it into a unique and much needed asset in our community. Check it out at Whitelock & Brookfield.
The John Eager Howard Recreation Center removed its vending machines and replaced the products with healthier snacks. They have also run a successful Healthy Food Cooking Class, which is being brought back in cooperation with the Whitelock Community Farm.
John Eager Howard Elementary School has been designated one of four schools in Baltimore for the Healthy Food in Motion Campaign. Students are creating healthy eating ads that will be used on public buses. The school has also hosted a farmers’ market for the students.
The Department of Recreation & Parks and Friends of Druid Hill Park kicked off an effort to open a farmers’ market Wednesday evenings in Druid Hill Park starting this summer. Members of RHIC and the Whitelock Community Farm are helping to get the farmers’ market off the ground.
Two Community Gardens, one on Whitelock Street and one on Lennox Street, offer residents the opportunity to grow their own produce in a lively, neighborly atmosphere.
(Photo credit: Howard Fink)