Large areas of Toledo have low-income residents who live a half-mile or more from a fully stocked supermarket, making it difficult for them to buy affordable and healthy food. Now ProMedica is helping to improve access to fresh fruits, vegetables, low-fat milk, yogurt, and other healthy food in the heart of the city.
The Garden Grocer in The Flower Market, located near ProMedica Toledo Hospital, opened in November 2013. The Garden Grocer sells fresh produce, some whole-grain items and select dairy products every day. The store also matches prices for customers who bring in current ads showing lower prices.
“We want to make it easier for Toledo residents living near our largest hospital to get what they need to eat healthy and nutritious food,” said Gaye Martin, manager of ProMedica’s mission services. “Transportation shouldn’t be an issue when it comes to putting healthy meals on the table for our families.”
Improving access to healthy food is part of ProMedica’s Come to the Table collaborative advocacy initiative to address hunger as a health issue. ProMedica has its own programs to end hunger, including the addition of the Garden Grocer in The Flower Market, and works with a wide array of local and national partners on efforts as well.
Both The Flower Market and ProMedica Toledo Hospital are located within a so-called food desert, a lower-income area designated by the federal government as having a significant number of residents living more than a half-mile away from the nearest supermarket.
Originally, the federal government classified food deserts as being low-income areas without a supermarket within a mile, including areas of Toledo near ProMedica Toledo Hospital. Additional areas were considered food deserts after the definition was expanded.
Click here for recipes to make healthy meals with items sold at the Garden Grocer in The Flower Market.