In a city known for its grease trucks, a fresh foods alternative is on the horizon for the residents of New Brunswick.
Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno announced the New Jersey Food Access Initiative (NJFIA) on Tuesday afternoon at the future site of the on French Street.
The Wellness Plaza will be the site of the first supermarket in New Brunswick in decades, The Fresh Grocer.
The opening of Fresh Grocer, a healthier options food chain, is the result of an initiative that Mayor Jim Cahill said has been decades in the making.
“This means good food, good jobs, good health, and that’s good news for New Brunswick,” he said.
Cahill added that the wellness center and supermarket are just a 10 to 15 minute walk from home for 75 percent of the residents in the city.
Donald Hinkle-Brown, president and CEO of The Reinvestment Fund, said stores like this are a crucial part of a statewide policy on access to healthier food options. Hinkle-Brown says New Jersey is one of just four states with such a policy.
“People have a right to equitable access to fresh foods,” he says.
Lt. Governor Guadagno believes that opening a Fresh Grocer supermarket in New Brunswick is just the beginning. She plans for the NJFAI to reach Paterson, Camden, Trenton, and other urban areas in New Jersey whose residents need access to fresh foods.
“It is unacceptable in 2012 for anyone to not have access to fresh foods,” Guadagno said. “If you don’t feed those in urban areas, you cannot revitalize the area.”
“New Brunswick got it done,” she said, “and it’s a great example of how we can get it done.”
Christopher Paladino, president of Development Corporation (DEVCO), described the coming together of so many powers from different sectors as an example of “a public/private partnership on steroids.”