A year ago I didn’t know anything about food deserts and food insecurity. I’ve learned, thanks to my dedicated young friends at the Jamie Kirk Hahn Foundation and at the Interfaith Food Shuttle – and WRAL’s eye-opening special HungerFreeNC.
A big problem right here in Raleigh is that low-income families don’t have access to grocery stores and can’t get healthy foods, fresh fruits and vegetables.
Now there’s a ray of hope in Southeast Raleigh. And it comes from none other than the Prince of Darkness himself, Art Pope.
Pope’s Variety Wholesalers bought a shut-down Kroger property on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in Southeast Raleigh. Pope says the space will have a Roses store and a separate grocery, something community leaders have wanted since the Kroger closed last year.
“It is a way to serve our community,” Pope said.
So here’s a tip of the TAP hat to Art.
Which leads to what may be a foolishly hopeful thought. Suppose Pope and some of the young (or not-so-young) activists on food issues were to sit down together. Maybe break bread downtown at Van Nolintha’s Bida Manda or at one of Ashley Christensen’s great restaurants. And talk about how they might somehow work together on this problem.
No doubt some of my progressive Democratic friends will have heart lock at the very thought. But I’m reminded of the Baptist minister who was a dedicated opponent of the state lottery. Then a member of his congregation won $1 million in the lottery and said he would give a tenth of his winnings to the church. A pious worshipper asked the minister if he would take the tainted money.
He replied, “Indeed I will. That money has done the work of the Devil long enough. It’s time it did the work of the Lord.”