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Bridgeport neighborhood group helps combat urban food desert

Ebong Udoma

A Bridgeport, Connecticut neighborhood group has been commended for providing fresh vegetables year-round to about 8,000 residents in an area of the city that is considered a healthy food desert.

The program is run by members of the Bridgeport East Side Neighborhood Revitalization Zone from a co-op called the East End Market and Café.

It's an example of how communities have successfully used federal COVID relief money, said U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) on a visit to the market on Wednesday.

The East End Market and Café is one of the only places you can come as a family and get access to healthy food,” Murphy said.

“They are also packing food boxes. They are also doing deliveries to seniors. A lot of the nutrition work that happens in the East End happens on this site. And this site is made possible with the money from the American Rescue,” Murphy added.

The members have secured funding from the state and other sources to sustain their efforts and they plan to begin growing fresh vegetables in a greenhouse at the site of a former illegal dumpsite nicknamed ‘Mount Trashmore.’

“Mount Trashmore, this disgusting pile of trash that was here in the East End for far too long. It's been cleaned up.” Murphy said. “And this group that set up the East End Market and Café is ready to turn that site into a new urban agriculture site. But also a one-stop center for people who need services.”

As WSHU Public Radio’s award-winning senior political reporter, Ebong Udoma draws on his extensive tenure to delve deep into state politics during a major election year.