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
New Delaware Avenue Development Proposals Put Maritime Supply Warehouse In A Corner

New Delaware Avenue Development Proposals Put Maritime Supply Warehouse In A Corner

April 17, 2015  |  News, Vantage

Time bought for the former Edward Corner Marine Merchandize Warehouse in a zoning meeting Wednesday night. Fishtown neighbors shot down developer Michael Samschick's large-scale mixed-use proposals for the three adjoining lots along Delaware Avenue. Contributor Stephen Stofka was there and has a few take-away recommendations for a less sprawling, more conscientious treatment of the blocks > more

The City Of Neighborhoods, For Better Or Worse

The City Of Neighborhoods, For Better Or Worse

April 17, 2015  |  Morning Blend

A look at the decentralized state of affairs in Center City, Live Nation announces plans for reuse of Fishtown factory, and distressed parkers fight South Philly proposal > more

Broad, Market, And The Wholesome City

Broad, Market, And The Wholesome City

April 16, 2015  |  Morning Blend

Reflections on the laying of the cornerstone to City Hall, short film eavesdrops in on Philadelphians in motion, Samschick’s Delaware Avenue projects not too popular with residents, Rebuilding Together Philadelphia celebrates milestone, and community input for West Philly plan > more

In Strawberry Mansion, Making The Case For Adaptive Reuse

In Strawberry Mansion, Making The Case For Adaptive Reuse

April 15, 2015  |  Soapbox

The 100-year old Metropolitan Garage in Strawberry Mansion is as unique as it it is oddly charming. Located right across the street form the entrance of East Fairmount Park, with a great view of the city skyline to boot, Hidden City contributor Oscar Beisart thinks that a bold reuse of the building just might be the kind of creative investment the neighborhood needs. Though, demolition permits are already in place and another opportunity to keep our historic, industrial fabric intact may soon be lost > more

“Air” Installed By The Schuylkill

“Air” Installed By The Schuylkill

April 15, 2015  |  Morning Blend

Famed sculptor’s 1979 piece back on public display, storefront improvement program reportedly strangled by federal regulation, northern concrete City Hall apron to be repoured, and using co-working spaces as a reinvigorator of East Market Street > more

Original Design Of Courtyard Gates To Be Installed At City Hall

Original Design Of Courtyard Gates To Be Installed At City Hall

April 13, 2015  |  Morning Blend

New gates for City Hall were designed in 1869, the mixed blessing of the South Philly refinery, Guinn to design mural for Wissahickon train station, Brandywine Realty moves into Old City, and Squilla promotes valet parking as solution for waterfront clubs > more