Charity pharmacy and fresh produce market open in South Linden


In an effort to provide access to fresh and healthy food options and medicines in South Linden, private and public partners celebrated Monday afternoon the inauguration of a pharmacy and a fresh produce market which will be free for those in need.

Longtime resident and One Linden Cooperative Project coordinator Peg Williams held back tears at the grand opening. Williams has moved into the community to be near their church, library, and parks. At first, she was thrilled to be just three blocks from the old Eagle Market store.

Neighborhood activist Peg Williams addresses the crowd gathered at the grand opening of the Linden Fresh Market and Charitable Pharmacy, which provides free access to food and pharmacy in surrounding areas of Linden, on Monday, September 27, 2021 .

She said she went there one day, “only to find that the quality of the product was poor. The meat would last two or three days and the fruits and vegetables about a little over a week,” she said. she declared. Williams stopped shopping there and had to leave the neighborhood to shop.

Everything is about to change now, however.

City officials, neighborhood leaders and the community come together at the grand opening of Linden Fresh Market and Charitable Pharmacy, a neighborhood destination for free access to fresh food and pharmacy, on Monday, September 27, 2021.

The Fresh Market and Charitable Pharmacy, 1464 Cleveland Ave., are located in a building on the site of the former Eagle Market store.

The city of Columbus purchased the building, which was harmful property due to gangs, drugs and violence. Officials worked with Linden neighborhood advocates and community partners to create the pharmacy and market.

The Fresh Market is run by a nonprofit community development for all organization, the Charitable Pharmacy of Central Ohio and the Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

The new Linden Fresh Market and Charitable Pharmacy, offers free access to food and pharmacy in surrounding areas of Linden on Monday, September 27, 2021.

Residents of South Linden had little direct access to healthy food. There is hope that this could be a game-changer, leading to a healthier life.

The market part of the project is similar to the All People’s Fresh Market on Parsons Avenue, which was also converted from take-out packaging and opened in 2018. This market is also managed by the non-profit Community Development for All People.

“It was able to serve over 40,000. We are really excited to have a second expression of this fresh market right here in this amazing facility. Now these markets are non-traditional pantries,” Reverend John said. Edgar, executive director of the denominational organization related to The United Methodist Church For All People.

The market “will provide almost exclusively fresh fruits, vegetables and dairy products. The idea is really simple. We want to make it easier for people to access free food so that they can eat healthier so as to live healthier lives.” , did he declare.

The new Linden Fresh Market offers free food and drugstore access on Monday, September 27, 2021.

Nationwide is paying a large portion of the project and has pledged $ 1 million to the organization for use in the community of South Linden, including $ 450,000 for the market, of which $ 75,000 is used to purchase and install a cold room and other necessary equipment. Nationwide will provide the remaining balance over the first five years of the contract at $ 75,000 per year to cover 50% of the contract’s projected annual operating costs.

Free food and medicine are available for those who are at or below 200% of the federal poverty line. Households can purchase food at the market once a day from Tuesday to Saturday.

“We are committed to enriching the communities where our employees live and work. This is especially important to us because it is in our hometown, and it brings to life our belief that everyone should have access to the satisfaction of basic needs, ”said Nationwide CEO Kirt Walker, in a press release.

Healthy Neighborhoods Healthy Families, an initiative formed by Nationwide Children’s Hospital in 2008, aims to create positive health outcomes in communities. The program will expand to Linden, based on the One Linden Plan, a comprehensive study undertaken by the city and the Linden community.

“We know that health isn’t just about medical care,” said Tim Robinson, CEO of Nationwide Children’s Hospital. “We want every child and every family to succeed. When the Linden area does well, we all do well.

The market and pharmacy, which were slated for July 2020, is one of the community’s many projects.

“A lot of you have told me from the start, there are a lot of studies and a lot of blueprints in the books on the shelves,” said Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther. “We don’t want to be part of the process, unless you implement it. Today is a celebration of action. And we will continue to do so.”

Mayor Andrew Ginther addresses the crowd gathered at the grand opening of the Linden Fresh Market and Charitable Pharmacy, which offers free access to food and pharmacy in surrounding areas of Linden, on Monday, September 27, 2021.

Other projects include the new Linden Community Center, a new fire station on Oakland Park Avenue, housing near Homeport and Habitat for Humanity, and the redesign of Hudson Avenue.

“My neighbors and I will appreciate getting quality food, free pharmacy services, and many additional resources closer to home,” said Williams. “This marks the start of another collaborative dream – to change the model of economic development that promotes, respects, restores and supports the creation of lasting community wealth for blacks and indigenous peoples of color.”

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