Food program created for west side residents

Neighborhood alliance groups along the city’s west side have created a food program that will bring fresh produce to the residents throughout this year’s growing season.

The West End Food Alliance was created through a partnership of the Audubon Area, Dugan Best and Northwest neighborhood alliances, Tri-State Food Banks, New Life Church and Owensboro Health.

Bryant Bell, chairman of the Audubon Area Neighborhood Alliance, said the idea is to serve west side residents who otherwise would have trouble getting to a grocery store. On the west side, the closest grocery store is on Carter Road an U.S. 60 west.

Tri-State Food Bank will provide fresh produce when it if available during the growing season, Bell said. When Food Alliance members held a food giveaway last week, Tri-State Food Bank provided apples.

“We were out of food within an hour,” Bell said.

With no grocery store nearby, Bell said west side neighborhood residents who don’t have transportation have difficulty buying fresh fruits and vegetables.

“Last year, we were trying to get the Owensboro Regional Farmers’ Market to come over to the west end,” but Farmers Market officials couldn’t oblige, Bell said.

“I said, ‘we’ve got to do something for the west end,’ ” Bell said. The last supermarket in the west side neighborhoods, Taylor’s Grocery Outlet on West Second Street, closed in August, 2017.

“Now it is considered to be a food desert down this way,” Bell said.

Tri-State Food Bank will send farm produce when items are available during the growing season. Food distribution will be at New Life Church on Crabtree Avenue near Fourth Street. The food is free. The goal is to provide it to seniors and to residents of west side apartment complexes.

“We would like to do this twice a month, if we can,” Bell said. “It all depends on their availability.”

The items are “fresh produce, just like you’d get at the farmers market,” Bell said.

People in the neighborhoods will be notified of good giveaway days through churches, social media and fliers distributed at area apartment complexes, Bell said.

“People don’t have to (meet) the income guidelines” to receive food assistance. Food will be distributed based on factors such as the size of the recipient’s family, Bell said

“We are trying to keep it in our area” of the three neighborhood alliances, Bell said.

The neighborhood alliances are looking for people who can assist during food giveaway days.

“The only thing we need this summer (is) we are going to reach out to our youth groups to volunteer,” Bell said.