Project Category: Rebuilding our Public Infrastructure
Organization Name: Northside Development Corporation
Organization Website: http://www.spartanburgndg.com
498 Howard Street.
Spartanburg, South Carolina 29303
Project Cost: $1,800,000
Responding to the community’s cry for access to healthy food, this ground-breaking Food Hub and catalyst for neighborhood redevelopment, Harvest Park represents all aspects of access to food and economic opportunity. The Northside Development Group, in partnership with the City of Spartanburg, the Hub City Farmers Market (HCFM) and the Butterfly Foundation collectively developed this $1.8M facility in the heart of the Northside neighborhood of the City of Spartanburg. Harvest Park was a catalyst as part of the Northside’s redevelopment effort. At the rear of the property, the Urban Farm cultivates produce on a half-acre site, which eventually ends up in Hub City’s Farmer’s Market’s (HCFM) Mobile Market or the Butterfly Foundation’s Monarch Cafe and Food Store. At the front of the property, HCFM holds its weekly farmers’ market, which will grew to a 12 month market in 2016. Next to HCFM’s pavilion is the Monarch Cafe and Food Store, offering basic groceries and produce for sale, freshly prepared meals, culinary job training facility, and kitchen. In concept, design, and execution, Harvest Park serves as a model of collaboration and determination to rid the community of a food desert and catalyze a 400 acre neighborhood thwart with abandonment and poverty but was a once thriving Mill Village.
Current Status: Completed
Community Needs Addressed:
More than 3 years in the making, Harvest Park offers Northside residents a chance to buy healthy produce within walking distance for the first time in more than a generation. It also gives the greater Spartanburg community a place to gather for the weekly farmers’ market, concerts, parties, or other events. The Northside has limited access to healthy food options with the closet grocery store over 1.5mile away and 2 bus stops. Access to these foods can greatly impact the level of a quality in diet. Residents of the Northside have severely reduced access to supermarkets. The Northside is considered a Food Desert by USDA standards. Supermarkets are an essential part of access to healthy foods and, subsequently, a healthy diet. Without access to supermarkets, a healthy balanced diet is almost impossible to achieve. Harvest Park aids in reducing this issue, through the urban farm, farmer’s market, and Butterfly Cafe, all of which accept snap benefits. In addition, the culinary job training program at Harvest Park provide training and employment opportunities for residents and previously incarcerated to become employed. Unemployment in the Northside is 24% with poverty well over 60%. Most residents are on assistance and can use their SNAP benefit to shop at the food store and the Farmers Market. The Farmers Market offer double SNAP so that residents can stretch their dollars while not impact the revenue of the small business farmer. Harvest Park is not only addressing food access but creating economic opportunity for residents and small businesses.
Benefits and outcome:
The development of Harvest Park was a $1.8M investment in one of the most disinvested community in the City of Spartanburg. Since this project has been completed an additional $3M in mixed income housing has been developed one block from Harvest Park creating opportunities for new residents to easily access heathy food options. The daylighting of creek and linear park is underway now adjacent to Harvest Park and will create walking, biking and recreational areas for residents. The project is estimated at $1.2M. Another $50M in development projects are set to break ground this year included a new mixed mix use income housing development, a new Early Learning Center and a new Community Center all within walking distance to Harvest Park. Harvest Park also offers employment opportunities to residents of the Northside, currently employing two. Healthy cooking classes are offered as well, through Charles Lee, healthy cooking classes for youth programs, and they also host children’s birthday parties that focuses on healthy meals. In the Charles Lee programs they have 12 students enrolled and they meat every other Monday. The healthy cooking classes for youth programs has 15 students, and they meet every other month. In the last year they have hosted 10 birthday parties, that average 12 children ages ranging from 7-12. In 2014 the Hub City Farmer’s Market did $9,100 in SNAP swipes. That number has increased drastically in the last 3 years, during the 2016-2017 calendar year the Farmer’s market did $14,560 in SNAP swipes. The goal in 2017-2018 is for the Farmer’s Market to do $15,925 in SNAP swipes.
Project partners and collaborators:
Harvest Park represents a broad swath of partnership and collaboration, including the Northside Development Group, the City of Spartanburg, the Butterfly Foundation, and the Hub City Farmer’s Market. All four parties were committed to the development to ameliorate the food desert and create a significant community asset. The $1.8 million project is financed through a $545,800 grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; $350,000 from the S.C. Community Loan Fund; a $200,000 Mary Black Foundation grant; $150,000 each from the city of Spartanburg, Northside Development Group, and Duke Energy; $88,000 from the S.C. Association of Community Development Corp., $40,000 from the Spartanburg County Foundation; and $25,000 from Women Giving for Spartanburg.The JM Smith Foundation has committed $100,000 over a four-year period to support the project. The Mary Black Foundation awarded a $50,000 grant to the Butterfly Foundation for culinary classes in a commercial, state-approved kitchen.
What makes your project unique?
The Northside Community Food Hub, Harvest Park provides a permanent home to the Hub City Farmer’s Market and the Butterfly Foundation, a nonprofit culinary job training program. It also provides classrooms, community gardens, a cafe, catering kitchen, and a retail space where vendors can sell their produce and goods. Within the Northside, poverty is pervasive nearly 64% of Northside residents live with incomes below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guideline. As a result of residents low incomes and lack of nearby healthy food options, the Northside community in Spartanburg has been designated by the USDA as a “food desert.” Harvest Park also provides employment opportunities to Northside residents, while providing healthy food options, and culinary training. Harvest Park offers an innovative solution bringing diverse partners and resources to complex community problems. Harvest Park not only addresses the needs of the residents in the Northside but attracts residents from all over Spartanburg to enjoy access to healthy food and the Monarch Cafe. This enable Harvest Park to be a catalyst for future development.
The Northside’s vision is to build on existing assets and ongoing projects that enable a healthy, vibrant community that includes economic and educational opportunities, healthy food options, access to health care, and active living opportunities that promote a healthy lifestyle for all residents regardless of income. It is the vision for the Northside to be a community of choice, where existing residents choose to stay and new residents choose to live. A community that can become economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable. The opening of Harvest Park has become a significant catalyst the Northside neighborhood to achieve this vision.
Click here to download the complete awards submission