Linden Fresh Market and Charitable Pharmacy Open to Community
The Linden Fresh Market and Charitable Pharmacy are open, providing free fresh and nutritious food and pharmacy services to the Linden community.
The project, as part of the 2018 One Linden plan, was announced last year. The market provides a much-needed resource to underserved Linden residents — healthy food alternatives.
The market, at 1464 Cleveland Ave., was made possible by a public-private partnership between the City of Columbus, Community Development for All People and Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
The site was previously a carryout before being shut down as a “longtime nuisance property” in 2016. Columbus Next Generation Corporation and the city then purchased the site to redevelop it, with a project eventually proposed with the help of Linden neighborhood advocates and leaders, community stakeholders and partners.
The Fresh Market is run by Community Development for All People, the Charitable Pharmacy of Central Ohio and Nationwide Children’s, with the latter investing $1 million to Community Development for All People for use in South Linden — including $450,000 for the market. Mid-Ohio Food Collective supplies the free food.
This is Community Development for All People’s second fresh food market, following the All People’s Fresh Market on Parsons Avenue.
The Parsons market is currently the largest point of distribution of free food in the state, according to Community Development for All People. And the new Linden market is twice the Parson market’s size.
The market also includes a conference room, where health and wellness classes will be offered, offices for patient medication counseling and a pharmacy, where qualified residents whose income is less than 200% of the poverty line can have their prescriptions filled for free.
“My neighbors and I will enjoy getting quality food products, free pharmaceutical services and many additional resources closer to home,” said Peg Williams, Linden resident, former South Linden Area commissioner and One Linden Cooperative project coordinator.
Williams was a mainstay at the community engagement meetings that contributed to the One Linden plan.
During the grand opening, Williams spoke of facing homelessness before finding a home in the Linden neighborhood. She found the community served her needs, even frequenting the Eagle Market nearby. But soon she found the quality of the food decreasing before the market eventually shut down.
“While the Fresh Linden Market ends one collaborative dream, it serves as the beginning of another collaborative dream,” she said. “Changing the model of economic development that promotes, respects, restores and supports sustainable community wealth building for Black and Indigenous people of color.”
Projects from the One Linden plan are ongoing, with the new Linden Community Center, which opened earlier this year, and a new fire station on Oakland Park, as well as housing by Homeport and Habitat for Humanity, and the redesign of Hudson Avenue.
“We are here because of the people of Linden,” said Mayor Andrew Ginther, during the grand opening of the market. “An incredible, dynamic community. Neighbors that have seen an awful lot of challenges, but know that their strength, their resiliency, can overcome anything.”
For more on the One Linden plan, visit ourlinden.com.
All photos by Taijuan Moorman.