Ralphs Abandons South L.A., Residents Take Matters into Their Own Hands

logoFor Immediate Release – July 8, 2013

Contact:

Jung Hee Choi, Communications Director

323-750-9087 x 226, 213-792-4718

junghee@cocosouthla.org

Terri Boysaw, Press Liaison

323-750-9087 x107

terri@cocosouthla.org

 

Unlikely Partnership with Liquor Store Brings Fresh Produce Stand

 

LOS ANGELES — Three weeks after the shut down of the Ralphs grocery store on the corner of Martin Luther King Blvd. and Western Ave., nearby residents of the King Estates neighborhood in South L.A. are creating their own solutions to provide fresh, healthy food options for their families and community.

 

Creating an unlikely partnership with a local liquor store, community members of the local nonprofit, Community Coalition and Community Services Unlimited are opening “Fresh Fridays” Produce Stand on the corner of 39th Street and Western Avenue to sell fresh, organic fruits, vegetables and snacks.

 

The grand opening of Fresh Fridays is this week on July 12 from 3-6 p.m. at 3894 S. Western Avenue, in the parking lot of Century Market, a liquor store that just three years ago was the target of a large community protest by residents for being a public nuisance. The liquor store, which has since worked to maintain community standards and city ordinances, has agreed to host the produce stand every Friday.

 

“This effort speaks to the power of what can happen when everybody comes together – neighbors, business owners, local non-profits – to build a better community for everyone,” said Marqueece Harris-Dawson, President & CEO of Community Coalition, which has been leading an effort to reduce crime and violence.

 

The produce stand in the King Estates neighborhood is part of a larger movement in the area to build a healthier and safer community. Over the past several years, Community Coalition has helped residents secure over $1 million in public funding to turnaround Martin Luther King park located across the street from the liquor store and to improve public health and safety by bringing in programs like the city’s anti-gang program Summer Night Lights.

 

“This produce stand represents another step in the right direction towards transforming our community and bringing better, healthier and safer opportunities for our families,” said Dorothy Redmond, a long time resident and mother of three.

 

The stand will sell organic and locally grown fruits and vegetables, conduct cooking demonstrations, and give out free samples. Fresh Fridays start on July 12, 3-6 p.m. at 3894 S. Western Ave.

 

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