The Near West Side Grocery Challenge: It’s In the Bag
At his annual address to the campus community, President Lovell announced a Grocery Challenge that is open to the campus community. Bringing a grocery store to campus and Near West Side neighborhood residents has been a focus for President Lovell since he came to Marquette. After meeting with dozens of developers and local grocers, President Lovell said Marquette was taking the grocery store issue “into our own hands.”
President Lovell hopes that student-generated proposals will be part of the solution. Throughout the semester, participants will form teams, explore potential options, meet with residents, “speed network” with local experts, and pitch their solutions. Some of the ideas will be piloted in the fall of 2017.
The Challenge: How It Works
Participants will have day-to-day support from a team of Marquette staff and some overarching guidance from key University Leadership, Near West Side staff, and others interested in supporting the Challenge. In addition, student teams can participate in a speed networking event featuring local grocery experts to get feedback on ideas and suggestions for next steps.
At the end of the semester, teams will pitch their recommendations and ideas to a panel of judges. Judges and Marquette leadership will evaluate all ideas and help select one or more to pilot in the fall semester. “Winning” teams and ideas will receive seed funding to implement the pilots. Interested students can apply to be a summer grocery fellow and keep working on their idea.
The goal is to generate innovative, affordable, and sustainable models to bring fresh foods to the Near West Side and pilot a variety of ideas to determine the appropriate mix of fresh food retail options. We want grocery options that are inclusive to everyone who calls the Near West Side home – and change the narrative around “grocery”.
Research and Resources
Check out some great local resources as you go through the discovery phase:
Grocery Case Studies: How have other communities comparable to Milwaukee addressed the issue of food deserts? This is an examination of the decisions and approaches taken by other cities to address food insecurity and access in order to identify program and policy approaches.
YRBS (Youth Risk Behavior Survey): sortable info from Milwaukee Youth on diet, nutrition, activity and other
NHANES WI Data: sortable, by state data on nutrition, health, obesity and other
Impact, Inc. resources: health and wellness data, environmental scans on central city Milwaukee
An Apple a Day: obesity impact on Milwaukee report
- Understanding Food Access
- Food Desert Locator
Food Security Project: Wisconsin interactive resource maps
Policy Map by Reinvestment Funk offers easy-to-use online mapping with data on demographics, real estate, health, jobs and more in communities across the US.
Near West Side Partners, Inc. (NWSP) is a non-profit organization founded through the support of five anchor institutions: Aurora Health Care, Harley-Davidson, Marquette University, MillerCoors, and Potawatomi Business Development Corporation.
- Map of the Near West Side
Recent Updates and Ongoing activities
Radio Interview on Lake Effect
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