Who decides where supermarkets go? Are there enough supermarkets in the Bronx? Why does it matter? In the summer of 2012, CUP collaborated with teaching artist Hatuey Ramos-Fermín and a group of public high school students from CUNY College Now at Hostos Community College to look at who gets supermarkets, who doesn’t, and why.
To find answers, the group got out of the classroom and into the frozen food aisles. We visited grocery stores across the boroughs, the Fresh Direct distribution site planned for the Bronx, and the real estate department of a major supermarket. For the story on how supermarkets choose sites, we interviewed the CEO of Western Beef, a supermarket site analyst, the Department of City Planning, a Bronx Community Board member, community organizers, and public health experts.
We’ve designed a booklet to teach others what’s funky and what’s fresh about Bronx supermarket access. At the end of the summer, NYU hosted a public event where students presented the project to a standing-room only crowd. At this event, students put their interviewing skills back to work in a live interview with James Johnson-Piett of Urbane Development about strategies other cities have used to bring grocery stores to underserved neighborhoods. The project is also being featured on WBAI and will be distributed to food justice organizations throughout the city.
Get your copy of the Funky Fresh booklet today, here!