Community Kitchen in Fruit Valley aims to address lack of food options

first_imgTony Fantozzi emerged from the new Community Kitchen food pantry at Fruit Valley Village excited about cooking. “I did great,” he said, hefting two bulging plastic bags of groceries to his car. “I’m going to start cooking soon. This will come in handy.”Fantozzi said he’s been living in a tent in the vicinity of Share House for more than two years now, but he’s eager to move up in the world. “I’m 65; I don’t want to be doing this forever,” he said. But until things start looking up for Fantozzi, the Community Kitchen provides what he needs to cook on his own camping stove.One door east of the Community Kitchen is the new Lighthouse Community Credit Union, bringing financial services and savings accounts to low- and moderate-income Fruit Valley people whose modest assets are generally overlooked by traditional banks. A couple doors west is the long-standing Minit Mart that will undergo renovation and expansion soon — adding a teaching kitchen where neighbors can learn to cook healthy food, according to developer and property owner Don Rhoads.The common goal at Fruit Valley Village is lifting up the local population, according to Lighthouse board member Brett Bryant. “It’s a collaboration across a lot of different organizations … to address the root causes of hunger and poverty,” he said. “Access to food and access to services is the path to transformation.”“The (Minit Mart) store has been here since 1968,” Rhoads said. “It’s a well-traveled corner and it’s part of the fabric of the Fruit Valley community. We realized it’s a great place to develop into more than just a store. We’re trying to provide infill that really serves this community.”last_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *