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The Fresh Grocer providing fresh nutrition

The Fresh Grocer has become a staple in residents’ lives in the Olney and Logan neighborhoods. Students and residents both rely on The Fresh Grocer for not only regular food items but also fresh options.

I recently interviewed some people that shop at The Fresh Grocer on Chew Ave in the Olney/Logan neighborhoods. They all noted how the store is convenient and one of the very few places to get fresh food.

I asked what they thought were the benefits of having a store like The Fresh Grocer in their neighborhood is. I also asked what some of the negatives were in addition to alternative shopping options in the neighborhood.

These interviews are part of my goal of bringing awareness about the lack of healthy and nutritional food options in city neighborhoods. For those that live in the suburbs, it is easy to have numerous grocery store or corner stores to go get your desired groceries. Personally, there are 2 grocery stores and a mom and pop food market within a mile of my house. Not everyone is as lucky. Other La Salle students mapped the food options in the Olney/Logan neighborhood for a senior nutrition project. These students found that the McDonalds had some of the healthiest options because McDonalds offers fruit and salads.

La Salle students Bill Repetto and Alex Miller (pictured below) both rely on The Fresh Grocer for food. Olney resident Reggie Johnson recognized the great benefit The Fresh Grocer is to the neighborhood. Listen to the interviews for their respective responses on my Sound cloud page.

Student Alex Miller poses in front of The Fresh Grocer after he stopped to pick up food for the week
Student Alex Miller poses in front of The Fresh Grocer after he stopped to pick up food for the week
La Salle student Bill Repetto poses with some of his gluten free food. Without Fresh Grocer, Repetto wouldn't be sure where he could get food from.
La Salle student Bill Repetto poses with some of his gluten free food. Without Fresh Grocer, Repetto wouldn’t be sure where he could get food from.

Keep in mind the next time your are at the store how lucky you may be to easily walk into the store and get all sorts of healthy food. Some neighborhoods may not have the same benefit or may only have one option.


New notes not to miss

Hi Everyone,

Thanks for following and reading my blog. The past week I have taken off for spring break. Some good old fashion relaxing was just what the doctor ordered!  I’m back to it now and have added some HTML and PHP samples on the “Notes” page. I also recently added an infogram comparing the poverty rate in Philadelphia to surrounding areas. Head over to the “Notes” page and check it all out.

Corinthian Baptist Church

This spring I will be following fellow La Salle University Students Cody Swan and Karla Fernandez as they embark on a journey to raise awareness about the work performed by Corinthian Baptist Church. The church has historical value as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a member for a time. The church has since been involved with civil rights. The church also is home to a food shelter that feeds the needy in the city of Philadelphia.

Corinthian Baptist Church
Corinthian Baptist Church

Swan said that he and Fernandez have been taught “to conceptualize the vast interconnectedness of various socioeconomic, political, and moral issues.” Corinthian Baptist has already connected these. Swan and Fernandez want to push this achievement to the next level.

“[W]e are aiming to strengthen ties with these institutions in addition to helping them become more active and far-reaching in their respective missions,” said Swan.

"Corinthian Baptist Church. Rev. R. K. Hill, Pastor"
“Corinthian Baptist Church.
Rev. R. K. Hill, Pastor”

While their current goals are still be reviewed, they have been meeting with Pastor Dr. Ronald K. Hill, Sr.

As part of their vision statement Corinthian Baptist proclaims “We are a caring people and it is out of our caring that the Holy Spirit has called forth ministries that we might be a blessing to others.”

Corinthian Baptist Church is located 6100 N. 21st Street Philadelphia, PA 19138.

Corinthian Baptist Church
Corinthian Baptist Church
Corinthian Baptist Church
Corinthian Baptist Church
"Built 1931 Rev Wm H. Hopkins"
“Built 1931
Rev Wm H. Hopkins”
Corinthian Baptist Church
Corinthian Baptist Church

Quick Quesadillas

Want something filling and satisfying yet that is a quick clean up? I have the solution then in my quesadillas. All you need is a fry pan, tortilla wraps, shredded cheese, chicken, and whatever you want to add to spice up the dish. I used medium sized tortillas a they fit perfect into my 12 inch fry pan.

Shredded Cheese, wraps, chicken, salsa, and BBQ sauce. the perfect ingredients for quesadillas
Shredded Cheese, wraps, chicken, salsa, and BBQ sauce. the perfect ingredients for quesadillas

No need for any oil or butter in the pan. Put the pan on the lower end of medium high heat. Put one wrap down in the pan, immediately place however much cheese you want on top. I use about 1/2 cup to 2/3 cups of shredded cheese. Next put the chicken in. I precooked my chicken. I like to cook an extra breast whenever I make chicken. Helps save time down the road. I added 2/3 cups of chicken.

Next is whatever you want to add to your quesadilla. I’m a huge BBQ sauce fan. You could very well put BBQ on dirt and I’d give it a taste. So I added some BBQ to the first quesadilla. The second quesadilla I followed the same steps but instead of BBQ I added salsa to the inside.

Add a second tortilla to top it off and now monitor the bottom quesadilla. Once it gets a medium brown, flip the quesadilla.Once agai monitor the bottom tortilla and when that also reaches the medium brown, the quesadilla is done.

Now it is time to enjoy!

Clean up takes a matter of minutes as all you have to clean is the pan, the plate you eat on (unless you used paper), and the spoon t scoop the salsa out with.

Quick, easy, and delicious. Cant beat that!

Exploring Nutrition

La Salle University students involved with Exploring Nutrition work at a food shelter, helping to distribute fresh foods. Photo Credit: La Salle University

Exploring Nutrition was created with the help of La Salle University with the mission “to create a model by which urban universities can, in partnership with local businesses, community organizations, and religious institutions, utilize collective resources and expertise to have a positive impact on their neighborhood’s health and nutritional well-being”.

La Salle University has partnered with “Fresh Grocer” grocery store and with several local businesses and religious organizations to improve the nutrition provided in the neighborhood. Dr. Marjie Allen, chair of Integrative Studies at La Salle University told me about the beginnings and inner workings of Exploring Nutrition.

One goal of the Exploring Nutrition program is to maintain food mapping of local businesses. This entails going to every store that sells food in the area and recording what products they sell, especially fresh fruit and vegetables. Allen said that when she had students do this research, some were astonished when they found that McDonald’s had more fresh fruit options than some of the corner stores they stopped at.

Allen said that it was seen through studies both nationally and locally that the nutrition and fresh food available in poorer neighborhoods was subpar. This lack of quality has lead to health issues such as obesity. La Salle University, being in a poorer neighborhood, decided to take a proactive step to fight the malnourishment and hunger that was living in the university’s backyard.

At the time of the last food mapping, there were three supermarkets in the area that provided fresh foods; Fresh Grocer, Pathmark, and Bottom Dollar. Recently, Bottom Dollar has closed due to a corporate buy-out.

Fresh Grocer was built within the last 10 years by La Salle University as a way to get better food and nutrition into the neighborhood. In a National Housing Institute article about getting fresh foods into low income communities, writer Rebecca Flournoy points out the added benefits of having a super market in these communities.

A view of the produce section inside The Fresh Grocer located at The Shoppes at La Salle. Photo Credit: catacomm.com

“The stores create jobs for local residents, capture dollars currently being spent outside of the community, recycle money in the local economy and increase local sales tax revenue”, said Flournoy.

Allen said that the program and focus on getting better nutrition is for all members of the community, both young and old. The children need the nutrition to physical develop and mentally develop and do well in school. Allen once again referred to her students who participated in the recent food mapping. Some of the students noted in their reports, the cracked and unstable sidewalks that surrounded the neighborhood and local corner stores. The elderly may likely have trouble trying to keep their balance from these unsafe conditions.

Allen said “Imagine if you were them, trying to keep balance with your cane or walker and then trying to keep your balance when leaving with your hands full of groceries”.

As La Salle’s Exploring Nutrition program continues to grow and become part of food shelter’s and soup kitchen’s missions, be sure to see more fresh foods throughout the neighborhood.

Who Does Poor Reporting Effect?

This evening myself and some classmates presented on some recent news stories that were poorly reported. We classified these stories as “poorly reported” because the editors or reporters used poor ethical judgment and standards. My portion focused on the Rolling Stone Magazine’s report of a rape on the campus of UVA. This story rocked the nation. The campus was equally shaken if not more. The alleged rape happened at a fraternity house. In turn, UVA suspended all Greek life organizations.

After some fact-checking and investigation, The Washington Post found many discrepancies and incorrect information in the Rolling Stone article. The Washington Post published their findings causing Rolling Stone to do the same. Investigators discovered much of the information to be wrong. While the victim may still have be sexually assaulted, this is not what I am here to debate. I am here to discuss the ethical responsibility of journalists to make sure the information they publish is 100% correct and accurate before the story is published. Many more students and organizations became victims in this case thanks to poor journalism. All Greek Life at UVA was suspended. Dozens of organizations and thousands of students were dragged into this terrible situation.

The men accused have had their names and reputations tarnished. The fellow members of their fraternities suffered. All organizations had their reputations tarnished because of the irresponsibility of a few people. While my fraternity was not the one specifically named, we have a chapter at UVA. I received emails about the situation and how our organization has a national body was dealing with it.

The articles written by The Post and Rolling Stone reached millions of people. Post has a little over four million followers on Twitter. Rolling Stone has a little more than four and a quarter million Twitter followers. Each time one of these organizations posted information about this case, over four million people were alerted and had access to the same information these organizations did. Millions of people watched and read as thousands of students were wrongly accused and associated with the wrongful act of a handful of people.

The headings of he Twitter pages for The Washington Post and Rolling Stone Magazine. Both have over 4 million followers on the social media site.
The headings of the Twitter pages for The Washington Post and Rolling Stone Magazine.
Both have over 4 million followers on the social media site.

We must remember the immediate victims of any case. We must also keep in mind the victims that suffer from the aftershock of such events. Fraternity and Sororities could have lost their housing and charters. Best friends and memories would have destroyed due to a simple irresponsible error. Ethics: Learn them, follow them, live them

Spreading the Good(s)

This spring myself along with some fellow journalists will be following members of the “Pheed Philadelphia” organization as they work in shelters and food kitchens. I will be working with La Salle University students Karla Fernandez and Cody Swan as they helps those at the Corinthian Baptist Church in North Philadelphia.

Pastor Ronald King Hill of Corinthian Baptist is a veteran of the Civil Rights movement. He housed Martin Luther King Jr. when King Jr. was in Philadelphia. I am greatly looking forward to providing a small history lesson to this project as well.

Stay tuned as we will hopefully be on location in the coming week, helping our neighbors.