BALTIMORE (WJZ) — An oasis of healthy produce in a would-be food desert is celebrating two years of serving the West Baltimore community and making a difference through the No Boundaries Coalition.
It’s fresh, it’s local, it’s changing lives: Fresh on the Avenue is just a small piece of a big puzzle that’s changing lives on Pennsylvania Avenue.
“You’ve got plenty of you know, chicken box places, plenty of junk food, corner carryouts, liquor stores. But they need fresh fruits and vegetables,” one shopper told WJZ’s Devin Bartollota.
This month, the market is celebrating a milestone of eating away at a near food desert that plagues much of the area.
“Two years of making a statement that this community values fresh vegetables and fruits, that they’re willing to pay for them, that they really know how to use them, and that’s not really an education issue so much as an access issue,” said Sache Jones of the No Boundaries Coalition.
The prices are low and the quality is high.
“They have nice items. You know, every week it’s something different,” another shopper said.
The market is part of the No Boundaries Coalition’s herculean effort to change the stigma surrounding central West Baltimore.
The nearby intersection of Pennsylvania and North avenues was the site of defining moments and riots in the aftermath of the death of freddie gray.
“This block is historically the center of African-American culture in Baltimore City. And sadly, the city has kind of let it go. But there’s a culture here that can’t be duplicated,” said No Boundaries Coalition Executive Director Ray Kelly.
Kelly, who grew up in the area, knows small changes from weekly neighborhood cleanups to healthy options like free yoga classes and, of course, access to healthy foods are the building blocks to changing Baltimore.
“There is a lack of it, but there is still hope in this community,” Kelly said.
The No Boundaries Coalition also plans to host several block parties at neighborhoods throughout the summer. The coalition was founded 11 years ago after a block party that united the community.