My name is Mona Jenkins and I am one of the Co-Founders of Queen Mother's Market Cooperative. We are raising funds to bring a community and worker-owned grocery store to life in Cincinnati, Ohio. We need your help in raising $4.7 million to bring our grocery store to life!
In 2017, Walnut Hills (WH), a historically underserved Black neighborhood in Cincinnati, Ohio, lost their only grocery store. Many families, elders, and other vulnerable community members were left with limited access to fresh and nutritious perishable foods or affordable staples. Residents of WH (including myself) decided to survey the neighborhood and hold community engagement sessions to learn about the impact of losing their grocery store as well as alternative solutions such as community-supported agriculture (CSAs) and cooperatives. To address the immediate need to access healthy food, ride-shares and delivery services were arranged with the understanding that these were only temporary solutions. As a long-term goal, residents agreed they preferred a cooperative grocery store due to the social and economic benefits of a community and worker-owned model (specifically, the Mondragon Model). With COVID's impact on food and job security, now more than ever, WH residents want to create their own collective system to meet their food and employment needs. Queen Mother’s Market Cooperative (QMMC) was founded by three Black women with the community’s vision to end food insecurity by increasing access to regionally grown healthy foods, support economic mobility through creating fair and dignified employment and workforce development opportunities, and collaborate with its members and residents to build healthy local and social networks that lead to a vibrant neighborhood.
QMMC will operate an 11,700 square foot full-service grocery store that will provide healthy and affordable staples and perishable food to WH, the other nearby underserved and food insecure communities of Avondale and Evanston, and surrounding Cincinnati neighborhoods. Located at Peebles Corner, QMMC will be easily accessible by public transit and walkable for many low-income residents who lack vehicles currently needed to drive to the next nearest grocery store. The zip code of 45206 has been designated by the USDA as an Underserved Area according to the 2019 Low Income, Low Access census tracts. Having a full-service grocery store in this neighborhood would revitalize access to healthy food, livable wage jobs, and services that would promote the eradication of health inequities and disparities for all residents.
QMMC will have unique features not found in other grocery stores in Cincinnati; there will be a kitchen classroom with educational programming and resources on food, nutrition, and health & wellness. Community members will be able to learn how to prepare easy, inexpensive, nutritious, and culturally appropriate meals. Consumers will be able to use their SNAP benefits and expand their purchasing power with Produce Perks. There will be a 700 sq. ft. wellness service space. We are searching for a key partnership with a local healthcare system to offer this space as a community hub for providing social and health services (ex. telehealth, prenatal and postpartum period support services, social services, mental health support services, depression screenings, testing site for blood pressure, glucose, cholesterol, etc.). In addition to the wellness service space, we will have a community room that will be available to host health and wellness programming (CPR/First Aid training, etc.). We already have commitments from local organizations to have programming available regarding cardiovascular health, diabetes, and other chronic diseases that plague BIPOC communities. Additional organizations will provide programming on prenatal and maternal health.
The entire community of Walnut Hills thanks you for your time! We hope you will join us by making a donation today!