Food Hub Revving Up In West Philadelphia

 

Muralist Brad Andrew Carney and his assistant Pierre (wearing the hat) Photo: Peter Woodall

West Philadelphia’s Fresh Food Hub, a new mobile market based at 37th and Lancaster Avenue in Powelton Village, will open tomorrow, April 25th. With support from Greensgrow and Preston’s Paradise, the Food Hub will operate 5 days per week, 6 hours per day from a freshly converted bread truck. The market will also run at other locations, including the Philadelphia Senior Community Center and community events like block parties, at least once a week.

“We tried to localize everything about the project, including the truck itself,” explains Ryan Kuck, a former farmer at Greensgrow and now the Food Hub’s project manager. The bread truck was completely redone: a festive mural on the side was designed by artist Brad Andrew Carney; metal fabricator Billy Dufala made a roll-up door and installed a canopy for protection from the sun and rain. Food is stored inside the truck and available for sale on the side of the truck. When the truck is in operation, Kuck says, “it becomes part of the sidewalk.”

One aim of the project is to build on the long history of food trucks and food truck vendors by adding diverse, fresh, and local foods.

Project co-sponsor Preston’s Paradise manages 10 community gardens and orchards and has been running a push-cart market for several years. “We needed to grow,” says Kuck. “People wouldn’t know how much food we’d have available.” So they switched to a food truck with more flexibility and a larger farmers’ network in partnership with Greensgrow.

The mobile market idea isn’t new. Greensgrow’s Farm Neighborhood Markets program launched a pilot mobile food market in Camden last year designed to help urban farms and gardens reach markets. Four new sites for this year include Fairview Village, Parkside, Centreville, and Cramer Hill. Find the 2012 Camden Neighborhood Market schedule HERE.

The Food Hub will stock more than fresh produce. Kuck wants the truck to be like a healthy corner store, where people can find a range of products. They’ll stock homemade herbal teas, fruit salad from the Urban Nutrition Initiative, fresh bread in a pending partnership with Betty’s Speakeasy, and certain package goods like tomato sauce and jarred peanut butter.

The other side of the Food Hub truck with the roll door up | Photo: Peter Woodall

Kuck says the Food Hub will work with a nearby Shop Rite to to help create markets for local Philadelphia producers. Such items include soap, fruit juice, granola bars, hot sauce, and salad dressings.

A future goal is to make the Hub a distribution site for diners and cafes that may not have fresh foods available for customers. They’ll start by providing fresh fruit salads at breakfast counters and work from there.

The Food Hub is financially supported by Greensgrow and Preston’s Paradise, but otherwise it runs on produce sales. As Kuck explains it, there’s an unwritten guideline that Greensgrow will “put its weight under the project” for three years. Then, it’s expected that the Food Hub will sustain itself.

See the Food Hub’s Facebook Page HERE.

About the author

Angela Taurino is a Philadelphia native now living in Bucks County and received her B.A. in English and Education at Arcadia University. She also studied abroad at City University in London, focusing on British history, art, and architecture. She currently works as Resident Services Coordinator at New Kensington Community Development Corporation, and focuses on a developing civic association in the Kensington neighborhood.



No Comments


Trackbacks

  1. Welcoming the West Philadelphia Fresh Food Hub to the neighborhood | Drexel Publishing Group
Recent Posts
The Physical & Political Importance Of Goldtex

The Physical & Political Importance Of Goldtex

August 29, 2014  |  Morning Blend

Loft District conversion project finally complete, Manayunk parish to preserve historic church, Temple professor talks ’64 riot, major mixed-use for NoLibs, and previewing Greenfest Philly 2014 > more

Ruminating On Lost Columbia Avenue

Ruminating On Lost Columbia Avenue

August 29, 2014  |  Soapbox

In this third installment in our series, Ethan Wallace examines the long term effects the Columbia Avenue riot has had on this weary section of North Philadelphia. Dubbed an "extinction event", Wallace sifts through the ruins of the once vibrant neighborhood while considering the encroaching development of Temple University's campus and the social unrest happening in Ferguson, Missouri. > more

'Scared Half To Death,' Reporter Says

‘Scared Half To Death,’ Reporter Says

August 28, 2014  |  Vantage

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the Columbia Avenue riot. For the second installment of our series, we have a first person account by Philadelphia Evening Bulletin reporter William Naulty, who was sent in to cover the mayhem on the night of August 28, 1964. > more

Roxborough Sawmill Preserves An Old Industrial Aesthetic

Roxborough Sawmill Preserves An Old Industrial Aesthetic

August 28, 2014  |  Morning Blend

One man's mission to preserve the physical history of industrial Philadelphia, groundbreaking for Rodin Square, street mural requested for Triangles Plaza, the genesis of JFK and 30th Street Station, and this weekend's Made in America Fest > more

Bridesburg, Riverfront Neighborhood Now With Riverfront Access

Bridesburg, Riverfront Neighborhood Now With Riverfront Access

August 28, 2014  |  News

With a land swap championed by Councilman Bobby Henon, Philadelphia gained a win-win scenario with the expansion of Dietz & Watson's facilities and a new riverfront park. Plan Philly's Jared Brey and Hidden City's Brad Maule explore the future park in Bridesburg—the riverfront neighborhood which will finally have access to the riverfront > more

Rodeph Shalom As A Beacon On North Broad

Rodeph Shalom As A Beacon On North Broad

August 27, 2014  |  Morning Blend

A look at the historic Jewish synagogue’s expansion, the economic importance of bike lanes, Suzanne Roberts Theater gets $2.5 million boost, remembering the Philadelphia Trades School, and approvals from the Historical Commission > more