On April 24th, 2014 the Lower 9th Ward Village and Supporting Urban Agriculture (SUA) competed in the PitchNOLA 2014 Living Well grant competition. There were 12 semi-finalists competing to pitch their entrepreneurial solutions that will reduce health disparities and get New Orleanians healthier, more active and better nourished.
Over the past 4 months, we have been working to organize a community driven outdoor market. We conducted over 100 surveys with Lower 9th Ward residents asking them their opinions about the lack of grocery store in the community.
When asked, “Where do you buy your groceries?” 75 out of 110 said they get groceries in St. Bernard Parish. The majority of them said Walmart. Everyone said they have to do their grocery shopping outside of the Lower 9th Ward.
The Lower 9th Ward Market is to be a place where community members can engage in vending, selling, and bartering produce, artisan crafts, and other products in order to promote individual entrepreneurship and self determination, community building, and self sufficiency given the lack of food access available in the Lower 9th Ward. We emphasize on being community driven and inclusive in our process because at the end of the day, the Lower 9th Ward still suffers from the lack of a full service grocery store.
At the event, we won the audience favorite award where the audience texted in their vote for their favorite pitch. We are excited about the support and positive feedback to push forward in launching an outdoor market.