Hunting Park: Center Offers Healthy Food to Community

Pastor Rob Whitmire organized Farm to Families boxes with ingredients tailored toward the Latino community.

 

Pastor Rob Whitmire organized Farm to Families boxes with ingredients tailored toward the Latino community.
Pastor Rob Whitmire organized Farm to Families boxes with ingredients tailored toward the Latino community.

Fresh food is hard to find for many residents in Hunting Park.

But the Esperanza Health Center, located at 4417 N. Sixth St., has partnered with St. Christopher’s Foundation for Children to make fresh fruits and vegetables available to the community at affordable prices.

For either $10 or $15, people can buy a small or grande box of produce or a fruit-box-only from the Farm to Families program. Customers must place an order a week in advance. The food boxes are distributed weekly on the following Fridays. Additionally, there is no income requirement to participate in this healthy choice program.

These boxes were packed with items bought in bulk, which are cheaper to buy together.
These boxes were packed with items bought in bulk which is cheaper than buying foods individually.

“For a very low cost, people will be able to get access to high quality produce that they may not otherwise have access to,” Ted Voboril, Esperanza development director, said. “They might be able to find access to this already but this will make it more convenient.”

Jillian Brainard, the director of community programs for the Pennsylvania Self-Help and Resource Exchange, said the contents of the food boxes are sold at a price 50 percent cheaper than for the same ingredients bought at grocery stores such as Acme and Whole Foods, stores that are not located near Hunting Park.

Families examined the food to make sure it was fresh.
Families examined the food to make sure it was fresh.

And extra benefit of this program is that these food boxes encourages families to eat meals together instead of family members just grabbing quick snacks from corner food stores.

“As long as families don’t eat together, those stores win,” Pamela Ramos, the community relations director at the Ayuda Community Center, said. “The bigger picture is for us within this community to unite families.”