21 Aug 2014
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Want To Water A Food Desert In South Minneapolis?

Residents of Bryant are asking Kingfielders for help.

Want To Water A Food Desert In South Minneapolis?

Southwest Minneapolis may be a jungle of restaurants, farmers' markets, and grocery stores, but cross the interstate to the Bryant neighborhood in South Minneapolis—just across from Kingfield—and you're in a food desert, according to the federal government.

Bryant resident Eric Weiss and his neighbors have set out to change that, trying to attract convenient, affordable, and healthy food options to the neighborhood—possibly even a grocery store.

US Department of Agriculture statistics say that of the 1,500 or so people in the area with poor access to affordable, healthy food, 255 are low-income. Worse, 20 percent have no car to drive to stores like Cub at Nicollet and 58th, or Aldi at Franklin and Bloomington.

"Midtown Exchange is great, but we have such a diverse community here," Weiss told Patch. "I can't afford a $5 block of cheese when I want cheese."

Calling themselves "The Carrot Initiative," Weiss and others say they're reaching out to the four neighborhoods around the 38th and Chicago intersection. So far, Weiss said the group isn't targeting specific sites or companies for a hypothetical grocery store yet. So far, they're trying to take the neighborhood's pulse on the issue.

If you'd like to get involved, check their Facebook page for meeting times. Weiss said with the effort in its infancy, volunteers are needed who want to dive into the issues.

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