Thursday, September 26, 2013

Food victories in Bayview (and Visitacion Valley!)

Elliott Johnson knows Bayview's food news isn't all bad.  Photo Footprints 2008
The closing of the Fresh and Easy market on 3rd Street last week was a blow to advocates for plentiful and healthy food in the Bayview Hunters Point neighborhood. But that's just the bad news. 

A new Grocery Outlet supermarket will open in Visitacion Valley on Bayshore Boulevard and Sunnydale Avenue, if all goes well at the City Planning Commissions meeting this Thursday. 
While still a trek for many Bayview residents, the store adds to existing food options which include FoodsCo on Williams and SuperSave on 3rd Street.
Other good news is that the Fresh and Easy store closure may have sparked more widespread concern.  One resident has started a petition to attract a Trader Joe's to the neighborhood.  Supervisor Malia Cohen, in a response to the Fresh and Easy closure, said she wants to any new business going into the newly empty commercial space to be a food retailer. 
Bayview Footprints and Quesada Gardens Initiative have been covering the topic since early 2007, and has seen a related up-tick in online traffic.  Footprints' community coverage of the issue has been supported by the Bayview HEAL Zone and has featured content contributions from the SEFA Food Guardians...groups heavily engaged in improving food access in the area.  See 173 food topic posts on It's What Community Looks Like.
SEFA, which stands for Southeast Food Access, is a multisector collaboration co-chaired by Michael Janis, General Manager of the SF Wholesale Produce Market, and Jacob Moody Executive Director of the BVHP Foundation for Community Improvement.  The collaboration is an example of the SF Department of Public Health's leadership, and that agency's understanding of the  connections between food access and the health of residents. Find SEFA online.
SEFA has been meeting since 2007, and has made inroads into defining what it means to be a healthy food retailer, has worked with corner store owners to improve what those outlets offer, and has trained residents to become community health ambassadors. 
Youth Leadership Institute is also advocating for residents' health through a marketing campaign that has engaged youth with regard to food and nutrition.  By arrangement with YLI, Footprints will bring you some of the results of that campaign in October and November editions.
Today's food news isn't all bad for Bayview, and is part of an ongoing story of a great neighborhood reclaiming itself.

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