Grants Bring Produce To "Food Deserts"

by Gabe Bullard on January 15, 2009

Two Louisville neighborhoods are getting help in making fresh produce available to residents.

The assistance comes from national health grants and will be spent on refrigeration and display units for the food as part of Louisville’s “Healthy in a Hurry” program.

The stores receiving the funds are in the Smoketown and West Louisville neighborhoods, where grocery access is limited. Public Health and Wellness Director Adewale Troutman says the goal of the program is to increase that access.

“Ultimately we’d like to see chain supermarkets readily accessible throughout the community,” he says. “If you look at West Louisville, we have one all the way over in Portland and one at 28th and Broadway, and that’s it.”

Metro Council President David Tandy says the stores are on their own when it comes to buying fruit and vegetables, but he’s working to connect the retailers with local farmers.

“We have a number of farmers’ markets down here,” says Tandy. “But it’s an extension of that to go even beyond, into the winter months to make sure access to fresh fruits and vegetables is available.”

The Smoketown store’s produce section has been installed. Renovations to a West Louisville convenience store are expected in the coming months.

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