October 25, 2014 |
Despite brisk winds and ominous clouds hanging over North Philadelphia Thursday afternoon, members of Amber Art and Design, a Philadelphia art collective, hurried around the mosaic-tiled plaza known as Meditation Park, hanging strings of lights and driving tiki torches into the ground. It was closing night of the Village Table: a series of four-course communal meals that are part social experiment, part art project, and part community-health intervention. The monthly pop-up feasts on the 2500 block of North Alder Street for anywhere from 50 to 100 guests were conceived by Amber Art and Design as part of a residency at the Village of Arts and Humanities.
October 13, 2014 |
When Yael Lehmann joined the Food Trust in 2001, she spent much of her time explaining that, though the nonprofit works on food access, it is not, in fact, a food bank. Since then, food access has become a hot issue. And the organization, whose staff has increased from five to 107, has helped bring fresh produce to 600 corner stores in the city, nutrition educators to 100 schools, and 27 farmers' markets to underserved neighborhoods. We asked Lehmann, Food Trust executive director, about that work, the popularity of the food-truck Night Market events, and being a full-time mother and part-time rocker for the band Happy Accident, with her husband, Blake, and the Food Trust's Brian Lang.
June 16, 2014 |
On a sunny Saturday afternoon in Penn Treaty Park in Fishtown, diners lined up for cups of chilled strawberry soup, as well as escargot with mushroom oatmeal and garlic scape cream. The dishes emerging from the Heart food truck, one of 14 such competitors for the 2014 Vendy Awards, were no different from the ones Heart's owners once presented at their Pottstown restaurant. "We're trying to take what we did in the restaurant and do it out here," said co-owner Tonda Woodling, who formerly ran Pottstown's Funky Lil' Kitchen.
June 6, 2014 |
What better way to reach people with the "eat fresh and local" message than to go where they work, study, commute, or pray? Neighborhood squares, parks and parking lots still host many farmer's markets in the region, but more and more are operating out of workplaces, universities, transportation hubs, and places of worship. This spring, new markets are coming to Drexel University, the U.S. General Services Administration offices in Center City, two neighborhood churches, and Congregation Rodeph Shalom, the synagogue on North Broad Street.
February 15, 2014 |
Low-income America is rife with food deserts, where supermarkets are scarce and good food so rare that people have little choice but to shop in corner stores, whose processed and highly caloric foods contribute to obesity. Build a decent supermarket with good, fresh produce, social scientists have said, and residents will flock to the oasis, their neighborhood a desert no more and their health much improved. That kind of thinking inspired the creation of a Fresh Grocer store in North Philadelphia, opened to great fanfare - including an appearance by Michelle Obama - on North Broad Street near Temple University in 2009.
January 16, 2014 |
More than 60 regional arts groups and artists have received small grants from Pennsylvania Partners in the Arts, a funding program of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. The awards are among the few public grants remaining that provide some support for individual artists, although the focus is on public projects. (There are no individual artist fellowships.) Michael Norris, executive director of the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, lauded the grants, noting that they "fund projects that directly impact schools, seniors, and community-based projects around the Greater Philadelphia region.
July 12, 2013 |
THE PHILADELPHIA Mural Arts Program is going off the wall and onto the dining table with "What We Sow," a four-month exploration of heirloom foods through farmers markets, garden tours, cooking demonstrations and other events in neighborhoods across the city. At the end of the program, on Oct. 5, the Mural Arts Program will host "70x7 The Meal, act XXXIV," a collaborative dinner and performance-art piece featuring artists Lucy + Jorge Orta, with food by local chef Marc Vetri. While details are still being confirmed, the event is expected to be open to the public in Independence National Historic Park.
June 21, 2013 |
It's farmer's market season once again, and Ben Bergman has much to celebrate. Not just the opening of about 65 markets in the Philadelphia/South Jersey region, but a brand-new one in his own neighborhood of Parkwood, in the city's Far Northeast. This is an area known for its many supermarkets, maybe, but not for its fresh produce. Until Parkwood debuted on May 18 in the Third Reformed Presbyterian Church parking lot at Byberry and Barbary Roads, there were only three farmer's markets in the vast expanse north of Bridge and Pratt Streets.
April 19, 2013 |
Corner stores are a staple in poor neighborhoods, where large supermarkets find it economically unfeasible to flourish. The problem has long been that small groceries aren't known for fresh fruits and vegetables. That has left an impoverished population bereft of good food, compelled to live in so-called food deserts. But Philadelphia's Food Trust, a nationally recognized nonprofit dedicated to ensuring that everyone has access to nutritious food, has been working to change that.
March 28, 2013 |
ACCESS TO healthy food for low-income Philadelphians improved by 17 percent in a two-year period, according to a report released Wednesday by the city's Public Health Department. The report, Walkable Access to Healthy Food in Philadelphia, shows that the number of Philadelphians living in high-poverty neighborhoods with limited access to healthy food dropped by 61,000 between 2010 and 2012. As part of the 2010 Get Healthy Philly initiative, the Food Trust and the health department offered corner stores an annual $100 incentive to encourage the sale of healthy food, said Giridhar Mallya, director of policy and planning for the health department.