- Broad Street
- Programs + Projects
The groundbreaking ceremony for the ReFresh Project was held May 9. Thanks so much to everyone who has supported the project, and to all who came out for the ceremony. See nola.com for additional coverage of the event.
As a part of pursuing our mission, BCC has created the ReFresh Project, which will adaptively redevelop the former Schwegmann’s grocery building at Broad and Bienville Streets by converting it into a mixed-use development that will include a fresh and healthy affordable grocery; commercial kitchens for healthy school food service providers; a demonstration kitchen for culinary and nutrition education; café and retail space; office space for community and mission-driven organizations; and a community education and engagement space.
Partners in the project include a fresh food grocery, a culinary and life-skills training program for at-risk youth, a medical teaching kitchen, a charter school management organization and other health- and wellness-related businesses and programs, with partnerships among tenants for impactful community programming. BCC would also like to cultivate a community garden and create space for community gatherings on site.
The ReFresh Project will create a catalytic economic development anchor for the Broad Street corridor, promote health and resiliency by delivering fresh food access to the Broad Street neighborhoods and public schoolchildren citywide, create long-term community economic development capacity, and promote community engagement and social justice. This project is unique because it will provide not only direct services and goods, but also the necessary education, training, and outreach activities about how to shop for and prepare delicious, healthy, affordable food suited to life in New Orleans. The goal is to build a healthier community through food and healthy lifestyles programming and education.
An education/community space will provide a platform for collaboration among project partners, community-oriented programming, and positive community health outcomes training. The space will host community programming, including education, engagement, and events, such as gardening and cooking classes held in conjunction with the on-site teaching kitchen, as well as a community garden and growing space. While accessing the grocery store, community members will have the opportunity to engage with a variety of tenants in the space for nutrition, fitness, gardening, cooking, and health education and programming, and tenants such as FirstLine Charter Schools will be able to use the space for field trips and educational programming for the city’s youth. It will also serve as an area for future collaborations with other community organizations, so the neighborhood will benefit from additional programming in the space.
The educational programming will be a joint effort of over a dozen community organizations, and is being planned and managed by the Broad Community Connections Healthy Lifestyles Committee, chaired by Leah Berger Jenson, MPH, a BCC board member and director of the Ruth U. Fertel/Tulane Community Health Center on Broad Street. The effectiveness of the project’s grocery store component will be measured with the help of the Tulane School of Public Heath’s Prevention Research Center.
The ReFresh Project is expected to open by the end of 2013.