Old Brooklyn organization continues efforts to tackle food insecurity
CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - One year in, Hope Fierro is still working to make sure Old Brooklyn eats better.
“For me, every little thing helps,” she said.
Fierro and the Old Brooklyn Community Development Corporation implemented several strategies to combat food deserts in the neighborhood, stemming from a grant as part of the Healthiest Cities and Counties Challenge. Last year, the group received a near $100,000 grant to help raise their community’s health.
Their choice was to tackle food insecurity: “People who don’t have enough money to buy food...also we don’t have grocery stores that are close to the people who need them here.”
According to the corporation’s Community Health Needs Assessment, one in five residents chose between food and housing; the time needed to walk to a grocery store is almost 90 minutes.
To kick-start the turnaround, OBCDC focused on local farmer’s markets, as well as “community navigators”—individuals aimed to help direct residents to food and resources not readily available.
Clara Harb was one of those workers this past year and said her experience taught her how people in Cleveland could struggle to find basic necessities.
“Meeting someone who lives 2 minutes away from me that has dealt with an empty fridge, not having transportation to get to the store,” she explained, “it was very eye-opening.”
As the program looks to continue into 2022, Fierro is confident any help can leave an impact and fight food insecurity. “Even if we can help 20 people—or more or less—that makes a dent,” she said.
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