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
A Monumental Shift At Dilworth Park

A Monumental Shift At Dilworth Park

October 24, 2014  |  Vantage

Olin's design for Dilworth Park gives Philadelphia what it has long struggled for: a suitably grand approach to the monumental City Hall, says Hidden City co-editor Nathaniel Popkin. Here's his review of the park, now essentially complete > more

Kenney To Hist Commission: Put Buildings On Register, Get More Funding

Kenney To Hist Commission: Put Buildings On Register, Get More Funding

October 24, 2014  |  Morning Blend

Firm would simply recoup money through ads, Councilman Kenney wants to bolster Historical Commission, Councilman Henon undaunted by Planning Commission’s non-recommendation for Mayfair overlay, and Guinn hard at work on latest mural > more

Bill Seeks To Preempt Tragedy With Better Data For Firefighters

Bill Seeks To Preempt Tragedy With Better Data For Firefighters

October 23, 2014  |  Morning Blend

Blueprint reconnaissance for firefighter safety, improvements to the Burk Mansion, City Council considers beautification of vacant land by former convicts, and more inaction on PGW sale > more

Why The Flying Saucer Deserves Your LOVE

Why The Flying Saucer Deserves Your LOVE

October 22, 2014  |  Morning Blend

Preservation Alliance calls iconic LOVE Park building a “place to save,” zoning changes introduced for parts of North Philly, another firm for the Navy Yard, and a sinking pharmacy in South Philly > more

The Missing Namesake Of North Philly's Lost Necropolis

The Missing Namesake Of North Philly’s Lost Necropolis

October 21, 2014  |  Harry K's Encyclopedia

Next up in our Halloween cemetery series: Harry K hits the tomes looking for the missing obelisk of Monument Cemetery. Is it sitting in a gravestone dumping ground at the foot of the Betsy Ross Bridge? Its fate may be forever unknown > more

Of Birds And Drinking Water

Of Birds And Drinking Water

October 21, 2014  |  Morning Blend

Inside the East Park Reservoir, Temple students adopting blocks, UCD to start early on 40th Street plaza, and Jewish life gets a boost at Penn > more