By Lisa Rose
Where are the peaches? That’s what many Detroit residents asked before Lisa Johanon founded Peaches & Greens, an organization that places mini-produce stations throughout the city.
Dottie Foster, a staff member at Peaches & Greens said, we “were disgusted with the quality of produce that was in the grocery stores (which there aren’t too many either) here locally. We had to drive 10 or more miles to go buy produce and we started to think about our neighbors who didn’t have a car. What did they do to get healthy food? Go to the liquor store and gas station and there’s no fresh produce there!”
Foster also believes a poor diet is one of the main reasons African Americans have higher rates of certain diseases compared to other populations. Detroiters needed some help in kitchen.
Johanon knew she couldn’t build brand new supermarkets on every corner. However, she could advocate to the local liquor store to carry fresh fruit and vegetables at an affordable produce. And so Peach & Greens was born. The organization places mini-produce posts in corner stores around Detroit.
“We have a truck that also drives through the neighborhood and delivers produce to some of the hidden areas of our community,” Johanon said.
“It’s like an ice cream truck driving through the neighborhood,” Foster said, “It’s a neat program.”
The produce comes “from The Terminal and from Eastern Market, the same places that Kroger and Meijers and other grocery stores get their produce,” Foster said. Although the food is of good quality, the goal is to get food at a good price, so right now organic produce isn’t a part of the menu. The organization even takes EBT cards/food stamps. So far, the community has responded quite positively to the program.
“We are trying to be reasonable priced—that is more important to our customer right now,” Foster said. “It is funded by the revenue it generates.”
The organization also works to educate the next generation by involving teens in healthy eating programs and summer gardening initiatives. A healthy diet is one of the best ways to make a stronger Detroit.
What YOU Can Do About It
Despite everyone’s hard work, Peaches & Greens needs help to expand. If you would like to help their cause, you may write a check to: 8840 Second Avenue, Detroit, MI 48202 or visit www.detcdc.org to donate through Paypal.
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