Healthy Neighborhoods campaign bringing nonprofit grocery store to Time Check neighborhood

Published: Apr. 21, 2021 at 10:24 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) -Cedar Rapids nonprofit Matthew 25 launched it’s Healthy Neighborhood campaign, which is investing in the Time Check neighborhood.

SanDee Skelton grew up in the Time Check neighborhood in Cedar Rapids. 80 years later, she’s still there and actively involved in her community. “Well, it’s touching to me because this neighborhood really is part of my life. It is my life; this is where I’ve spent my life. And so many others are the same way,” says Skelton.

And soon, the neighborhood will have a non-profit grocery that she can walk to, right off Ellis Boulevard NW and E Avenue NW. “When I was a child there was a grocery store on almost every corner. In every neighborhood. Because people didn’t all have cars and they’d walk to the store. Now they can do that again,” says Skelton.

The flood of 2008 damaged many homes and buildings in the Time Check neighborhood, and Matthew 25 has worked in the community for more than a decade to restore hope and access to healthy food. “It’s been sucker-punched. The flood hurt, and then COVID hurt, and the derecho hurt, and so it’s good to have some positive energy going forward,” says Matthew 25 Executive Director Clint Twedt-Ball.

On Tuesday, Matthew 25 launched its million-dollar Healthy Neighborhoods campaign to fund the grocery store and create new and refurbished housing.

Twedt-Ball says they plan to break ground on housing projects over the summer. The nonprofit grocery store, called the Cultivate Hope Corner Store, is hoping to open this fall. Twedt-Ball says the U.S. Department of Agriculture has categorized the neighborhood as a food desert, saying “There are 3 convenience stores and 3 bars that kind of supply food to the area, so it’s important to have fresh local food for people to eat.”

Skelton says she’s looking forward to the future, saying “Seeing things come back to life again, it’s encouraging. And something to look forward to, and something we can watch grow, and help grow.”

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