Thanksgiving & Food Equity
Thanksgiving is synonymous with turkey, cranberry sauce, stuffing, pumpkin pie, and sweet potatoes. Basically – thanksgiving is synonymous with an abundance of meat, vegetables, fruit and water. However, the surge of volunteerism at food banks also suggests that the meals that are so synonymous with thanksgiving may not be easily available to everyone.
One of The Opportunity League’s year round missions is to achieve food equity in our communities. Food equity is the belief that people should have equal access to and the ability to grow and consume healthy, affordable, and culturally-significant foods. Food equity is achieved when communities — especially underserved groups — have fair access to these types of food retailers and community gardens producing food via sustainable practices and supporting local farmers with reasonable wages and accommodations.
In order to achieve food equity in Burlington City, The Opportunity League is working on opening Villages Community Marketplace, a local market that will offer our neighbors healthy, fresh, quality grocery and produce in a platform that provides affordability and accessibility to the consumer in a way that this market has not seen. By operating a grocery store as a community focused, mission driven establishment. We can enable a more dynamic supply chain that allows us to provide a higher quality of product and service with greater accessibility without solely relying on non local brands.
Within the surrounding area of the marketplace, we know that food retail dollars have a need for a local establishment. The options for those in the community are to leave the area and spend their resources outside of Burlington City. This leaves households that do not have access to a vehicle in a difficult situation. These are members of the community that we want to serve, in addition to households that want fresh, local, affordable food that is rooted in the neighborhood.
The Opportunity League will serve as an anchor for this mission. Allowing both younger and older residents to shop for their food supplies in a convenient location is one part. Providing food education and community events will make this community market an excellent example of the values of Burlington. Allowing members of the community to grow together and strengthen the community even further is something The Opportunity League specializes in. This community market will be the shining example of our dedication to Burlington.
As you sit around your meals tonight, we hope you take a minute to recognize the power in food. We hope your thanksgiving is filled with family, friends and wonderful food!
Interested in supporting Villages Community MarketPlace? Donate: here.
By: Sherley Hinds-Gomez