Hartford residents urge city to bring more options for fresh food

Hartford residents push for fresh food in neighborhood
Published: Sep. 14, 2022 at 7:28 PM EDT
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HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) - The push continues in Hartford to increase access to fresh produce and better grocery options.

The Hartford City Council passed a resolution this week urging the city to work with developers to try to attract a full-service grocery store operator.

Significant sections of Hartford are more than half a mile away from the nearest supermarket and have poverty rates over 20-percent. For many, transportation is often a barrier.

“I was one of those parents who was pushing a stroller down the street as I have to take bus after bus with my little kids to go get groceries,” said Dani Singerman, Advisory Coordinator for Healthy Hartford Hub’s Community Action Taskforce.

Dani knows firsthand how challenging it can be for Hartford residents to get access to healthy grocery options.

“You still have people who don’t have vehicles, you still have people who have to walk to the store or have to get on the bus or take rideshare or things like that and that becomes an all-day thing,” said Dani.

She and Denise Holter are part of the healthy Hartford hub’s community action task force.

They are advocating on behalf of community members and working towards getting a full-service grocery store to the arrowhead gateway area right by downtown and Dunkin’ Donuts Park.

It’s been their mission for over five years and they’re pleased this week. The Hartford City Council passed a resolution urging the city to work with developers to attract a full-service grocery store operator to the area by July 2023.

“The area was not in good condition. It was derelict for many years. And because of that, it couldn’t attract people to come in,” said Denise.

Councilman Josh Michtom voted in favor of the resolution.

“The average life expectancy in the north end, depending on what zip code you pick is 15 or 20 years less than West Hartford, a few miles away. And a big part of that, there’s a lot of research that says its access to good affordable nutrition,” said Michtom.

RMS Companies has been developing the area by Dunkin’ Donuts Park.

The developer is actively marketing a grocery operator now as part of its next phase of development.