The Northside was once considered a food desert, or a low-income area that lacks access to fresh produce and other healthy foods while having 33% of the census tract population reside more than a mile from a supermarket (Gallagher, 2011). A solution to combat the of food insecurity in the Northside is the creation of Harvest Park, a food hub compromised of Hub City Farmers’ Market, Monarch Café, and a community garden/farm. The Hub City Farmers’ Market runs every Saturday from April to mid-December. Vendors at the market are from local farms and businesses (Hub City Farmers’ Market, n.d.-a). To attract a diverse array of customers, the Hub City Farmers’ Market has a double SNAP program, and after the third visit every dollar that a customer spends for up to $40.00 will be matched (Hub City Farmers’ Market, n.d.-b). SNAP or the supplemental nutritional assistance program, provides assistance to low-income families for purchasing food (What is SNAP? n.d.). The Hub City Farmers’ Market also has a healthy bucks program in which $10 spent on fruits and vegetables will give one $10 in tokens to purchase more fruits and vegetables at the market and therefore encourage healthy eating. Another component of Harvest Park, Monarch Café, is a café and fresh food store. Monarch Café is run by the Butterfly Foundation, a community development organization. Along serving as a café and food store, it offers a culinary job training program in which unemployed and homeless adults are trained for a career in the food service industry. Monarch Café also accepts SNAP (The Butterfly Foundation, n.d.). The addition of Harvest Park has caused the Northside to no longer be considered a food desert, but the question remains whether, and how, Harvest Park is actually benefitting the Northside community. The purpose of my research is to gain insight as to how Northside residents who live in Victoria Gardens and Cleveland Heights perceive Hub City Farmers’ Market and Monarch Café. This is important because with the addition of Harvest Park, the area is no longer considered to be a food desert, so there could be potentially less focus on if Northside residents have access to fresh and affordable foods. Furthermore, my project looked into suggestions for future improvements for Monarch Café and Hub City Farmers’ Market in order to attract more Northside residents in the future.
Qureshi, Aleah, "The Effectiveness of Monarch Café and Hub City Farmers’ Market in Feeding the Northside: Perspectives from Two Communities" (2018). Wofford Bonner Scholar Senior Capstone Projects. 4.