The “Green Grocer” is a mobile produce market that brings many fresh fruits and vegetables in the Pittsburgh area right to many African Americans’ doorstep. Part of the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, “Green Grocer” aims to bring fresh food to areas that are typically known as “food deserts.” With the closing of Shop ‘n Save on Centre Avenue in the Hill District last March, most of the Hill District is considered a food desert, where fresh fruits and other foods are not readily available in the neighborhood, according to the New Pittsburgh Courier.
The Green Grocer truck is operational thanks to a partnership with the Urban Redevelopment Authority of the City of Pittsburgh. Diamonte Walker, the deputy executive director for the URA and a Hill District resident, led the efforts in getting the Green Grocer truck into its new location in the Centre Heldman Plaza, where Shop ‘n Save was located. The URA late last year purchased the Shop ‘n Save building and some of the parking lot for $1.6 million.
“We believe that everybody has the right to access fresh fruits and vegetables, fresh food, and have a choice about it,” said Josh Anderegg, mobile markets coordinator for the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. “The Green Grocer is an attempt to try to make that situation better in neighborhoods that have been denied that opportunity of access.”
Poor eating habits and a high intake of salty and greasy foods can lead to high blood pressure, which is why the Green Grocer is such a necessity. Extremely high blood pressure can lead to strokes, heart attacks and acute kidney damage, classified as a hypertensive emergency, is five times higher in inner-city African American patients than the national average, according to a recent study co-led by a Rutgers researcher. The study, which is the largest one of its kind to compare the development of hypertensive emergency in U.S. inner-cities, appears in the journal Blood Pressure. One in three adults has high blood pressure known as hypertension, with the highest rates among African Americans, according to ScienceDaily.com. High blood pressure can potentially be fatal but you may be able to lower your blood pressure by improving your diet. A diet high in vegetables and fruits may help lower your blood pressure, and eating a wide variety will provide multiple nutrients to support a healthy blood pressure according to LiveStrong.com.