The CVS Pharmacy at Broad Street and Girard Avenue in Francisville is rarely empty.
Dozens of customers stream in and out during the business day. Some walk out toting the usual – soaps, first aid items or paper products, and some exit carrying large bags filled with groceries.
Aaron Dilliplane, who has been living in Francisville for about a year, does not seem surprised that some of his neighbors resort to the pharmacy for their food shopping.
“The lack of a proper grocery store is a real problem,” Dilliplane said of the neighborhood.
Although the pharmacy is one of the only food shopping options in Francisville, Dilliplane said he tries to avoid grocery shopping there by traveling to Klein’s Supermarket on Pennsylvania Avenue or a farmer’s market at 23rd Street and Fairmount Avenue. The Fresh Grocer near Cecil B. Moore Avenue and Broad also is a bit of a hike.
The seven-block walk home with groceries in tow doesn’t bother Dilliplane, a healthy 25-year-old. But for one of the nearly 3,000 seniors living in Francisville, it may seem like more of a hike.
The Francisville Neighborhood Development Corp. recognizes the lack of access to fresh foods in the neighborhood and is seeking to fix the problem by introducing a seasonal farmer’s market.
Plans have been in the works for the Francis Village Market Place for several years, but construction was stalled.
Francisville Neighborhood Development Corp. members have recently been in discussion with Lancaster farmers and hope to have an open-air market in place by this summer, said Penelope Giles, founder and president.