Apples and Oranges Fresh Market

Why we need funding:
One of the most pressing concerns facing America today is the lack of access to healthy affordable food in underserved communities. According to a recent study, 24.8 million Americans, including 6.2 million children and 32 million seniors, live in so called food deserts—areas that lack full-service supermarkets or stores likely to sell affordable and healthy foods. In inner city Baltimore, The Social Compact, Inc. identified 140 grocers of which 49 are full service. That equates to 1.8 full service grocery stores for every 10,000 household. Limited food choices are contributing to dangerously high rates of obesity and diet-related chronic diseases. In Baltimore City, one third of the adult population is obese based on self-reported height and weight data.

Michele Speaks-March and Erich W. March opened Apples and Oranges Fresh Market in Baltimore City, in March of 2013 to address the food disparity in their East Baltimore community. Investing more than $1.3 million in construction and equipment, Michele and Erich made the decision to stop talking about the problem and start addressing the problem. The result is a beautiful full service grocery store which is adding value by providing access to healthy and nutritious food, offering various food educational and informational programs, supporting jobs for community residents and spurring additional residential and commercial investments in the community. We need your help to keep this cause afloat. 

Why you should care:
Many Baltimore City’s neighborhoods lack full service supermarkets. But, having access to nutritious foods and establishing a healthier lifestyle is an issue that extends beyond Baltimore City. Communities all over the United States are directly impacted by food deserts and limited access to resources that promote a healthier lifestyle. We are working courageously to create a retail model that will help Baltimore City residents change their unhealthy habits and ultimately a model for other underserved communities as well. What we know is:

• The presence of a fresh market allows people the option to choose healthier diets for themselves and their children.

• The presence of a fresh market provides an alternative to convenience store offerings which help combat childhood obesity and the overwhelming health concerns that follow.

• The presence of a fresh market also helps to improve the economy by providing jobs to local residents.

• The presence of fresh food markets increase the surrounding real estate values and encourage commercial and residential development in the community.

Additional Resources:
Baltimore City Food Policy Initiative
Baltimore City Food Policy Task Force (2009)
Policy Changes: Minimizing Food Deserts
Food Desert Statistics (SouthBaltimore City Food Environment Research ern Poverty Law Center)
Baltimore City Food Environment Research


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  • Felicia Johnson 
    • $20 
    • 78 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $10 
    • 80 mos
  • Julia Hammid 
    • $25 
    • 83 mos
  • Barry Miller 
    • $25 
    • 83 mos
  • Frances Flanigan 
    • $100 
    • 83 mos
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Michele Speaks-March 
Baltimore, MD
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