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Deep Winter Greenhouse to Serve Duluth's 'Food Desert' Neighborhoods

Heidi Enninga
June 28, 2015 11:22 PM

A local fundraising effort was underway Sunday in Duluth for a deep winter greenhouse that would help solve food access issues. 

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In Lincoln Park and West Duluth, a fresh and healthy meal can be complicated because food access is so limited in these neighborhoods, that the USDA designated them "food deserts," Angie Miller, executive Director of Community Action Duluth said. 

"Lincoln Oark is one of the poorest neighborhoods in Duluth, and it's hard, think about it, if you have kids and you don't have a car, you have to load them up on the bus, you get all your groceries and how do you haul all that home?" 

Miller said, that means many families settle for a more accessible option,

"it leaves people with limited options that are usually a convenience type of store, which it's okay for a fill-in, but if all your groceries come from a convenience store it's really hard to eat healthy," Miller said.

Residents now have access to a farmer's market started three years ago, but that only runs during the summer. Now, plans are on the drawing board for a deep winter greenhouse that would fill the nine-month gap. 

Jennifer Webb is the president of the Junior League of Duluth and said, the greenhouse will have a a big impact on the overall quality of life in the neighborhoods. 

"Food insecurity is tied to so many things about health and education, particularly for children," Webb said. "If you're food insecure, everything sort of goes back to that, and so one of the ways to address that is just to figure out how to get food into people's hands."

A plot of land on W. 4th Street and N. 45th Avenue West is a parking lot now, but it's set to undergo a transformation as the future home for a 30-foot by 60-foot deep winter green house, edible forest and raised bed garden plots.

Across the street and already under construction, the new Whole Foods Co-op location. 

"It will actually create this really beautiful green space in West Duluth," Webb said.

The specially designed greehouse would feed hundreds in the community all year round and add two, year-round greenhouse positions to Community Action Duluth's Seeds of Success program. 

The greenhouse is set to start producing by the fall of 2016, but first, the Junior League needs to raise $100,000 to build it. 

"We've made good headway, but this is when we really need the community and the businesses in Duluth to come together and support us," Webb said.

There's a Go Fund Me page set up to collect donations. 


Credits

Heidi Enninga

Copyright 2016 WDIO-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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