“I see Uncle James reaching out to all over the community, helping people build plots and even their background or backyard so that they can have something to look out for and take care of,” shared Kanwai.
By Elle Naef
May 20, 2023
When Grevious decided to start urban farming with his family in 2015, they had been living in Montbello for 7 years.
According to data from the University of Denver, Montbello is considered a food desert, meaning there aren’t enough sources of fresh and affordable foods for the people who live there, and that only 33% of residents live within a mile of a grocery store. Montbello’s last remaining grocery store, a Safeway, closed in 2014.
“We’re reliant on acres and acres of farms way out of the community to truck food. And if those things break down, it’s an issue for some of these cities, especially in areas that are already food deserts,” he explained.
That’s where Rebel Marketplace comes in. “We’re not gonna solve that problem, but we can at least supplement and have a parallel system to support that existing food system,” he said.
While Rebel Marketplace’s location is not in a food desert, Grevious says this mentality is still applicable.
“Our grocery stores in this area are run-down and poorly stocked. It feels more like an institution than a gathering place to access fresh food,” he shared. “I may not be in a food desert, but I am in a food swamp.”
Affordability is another essential element, which is why Rebel Marketplace now accepts SNAP EBT cards.
Beyond the market, Grevious has implemented lessons learned in the importance of food supply by helping neighbors with their own farming.
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