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Help Sought To Fix Food Desert In Minneapolis

New group in Bryant neighborhood seeks board members.

Would you believe that, in the city of foodies and local agriculture, just blocks from one of Minneapolis' first farmers markets, there's a neighborhood that can't get day-to-day access to affordable, fresh fruits and vegetables?

Look no further than the Bryant neighborhood, just across the freeway from the heart of Kingfield. According to the federal Department of Agriculture, the area is what's known as a "food desert." That means that at least 20 percent of the area's residents live at or below the poverty line, and at least either 500 people or 33 percent of the area lives more than a mile from a supermarket or large grocery store. The idea, the USDA says, is that people in these areas have to spend too much money to get back and forth to a store selling fresh produce at affordable rates. 

One group of Bryant residents is trying to solve that by luring a co-op or other grocery store to the neighborhood to compliment its corner stores. They've set up a nonprofit, , and they're now looking for board members to help the group continue to move forward.

They've also just put down a $5,000 deposit on an ex-furniture store at the intersection of 37th Street and Chicago Avenue South, according to Minnesota Public Radio, which will let them secure the space in hopes of attracting said grocery store.

"When we talk to people about putting a grocery store in this neighborhood, in this space, they get pie-eyed with excitement," one member of the group told MPR. "That's kind of what this real estate agreement allowed us to do, was to take some time to gather some additional information from folks."

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