OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Leaders in the community say neighborhoods in North Omaha have been, and in some cases still are considered food deserts.
Members of the Omaha Economic Development Corporation (OEDC) recognized the lack of quality food in some North Omaha neighborhoods and took action. They created the Fair Deal Village Marketplace, a weekly farmers market in the summer months that allow customers to pay what they can afford.
"Some of them may have price tags on them. If the person doesn’t have the money but needs the food, they can get it any which way," Michael Maroney, President of the OEDC, said. "One of the things that happened with this, that I’ve seen, we have people who can actually afford to go to an actual grocery store but come here and we appreciate that. They will pay what they would pay in a grocery store and in some cases they’ll give them money and not ask for change back. That helps the urban farmer. It just makes it good for everyone all the way around."
The low prices make fresh, healthy food options more accessible to a community that has been historically underserved. The market is one tool in fighting against food insecurity.
"This particular area in North Omaha, and much of North Omaha was for a long time and still to some degree, a food desert. We lacked a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables that people need to have healthy diets and live healthy lives. Our response to that was this combination of a small neighborhood-based grocery store and working with local urban farmers in trying to facilitate a greater access to healthier food," Maroney said.
The market is open from 5 to 7 p.m. on Thursdays in the OEDC parking lot at 2221 North 24th street. This year it will run until August 26th.