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

Leave a Reply

Comment moderation is enabled, no need to resubmit any comments posted.

Recent Posts
Germantown Masonic Hall Shakes Hands With Development

Germantown Masonic Hall Shakes Hands With Development

July 25, 2017  |  The Shadow Knows

The Shadow gives us the rundown on the history, and future, of a Gothic Revival meeting hall on Germantown Avenue > more

A History Of Leadership During Philadelphia's Epidemics

A History Of Leadership During Philadelphia’s Epidemics

July 21, 2017  |  Vantage

Contributor Sam Dunnington examines disease outbreaks in Philadelphia and the individuals that helped the city navigate its most deadly epidemics > more

La Salle University Tears Down Historic Victorian Home

La Salle University Tears Down Historic Victorian Home

July 19, 2017  |  News

Another historic home is demolished by La Salle University for campus expansion > more

Shaping Up And Shipping Out At Philadelphia's First Navy Yard

Shaping Up And Shipping Out At Philadelphia’s First Navy Yard

July 18, 2017  |  Harry K's Encyclopedia

Harry K sets sail for South Philly where shipbuilding and national defense once defined the Delaware River waterfront > more

Demolition Of Two Neighborhood Sanctuaries Begins

Demolition Of Two Neighborhood Sanctuaries Begins

July 14, 2017  |  News

Two historic churches meet the wrecking ball this week. Michael Bixler reports > more

Marked Potential: Film Exchange Building

Marked Potential: Film Exchange Building

July 12, 2017  |  Marked Potential

Shila Griffith is back with the latest and last edition of her column, Market Potential. In this final piece, Griffith reinvents a vacant, Mid-century Modern landmark near Chinatown as a cooperative cooking space for culinary entrepreneurs > more