The lack of a full-service grocery store has been a longstanding complaint in the Lower 9th Ward. At least for one day this week, however, that will change as a group of residents and advocates create what is essentially a pop-up grocery store.
On Saturday, Oct. 20, the Lower Ninth Ward Food Access Coalition will stage its "Grocery Store for a Day" event, setting up a fully stocked store inside All Souls Episcopal Church & Community Center (5500 St. Claude Ave.). The daylong event includes children's activities, health screenings and urban farm tours, and from noon to 4 p.m. residents can shop in the store, which will be stocked by local vendors. Payment for groceries is by donation.
Coalition director Jenga Mwendo says the event is intended to draw attention to the area's status as a "food desert," with the closest grocery store located miles away, and to highlight her group's work to address the situation.
Event organizers are soliciting more vendors to get involved. Contact the group at foodsecurity@sustainthe- nine.org or 324-9955 for details.