Expanding Market Operations to Provide Food and Art Delivery Service
Wave Pool has provided food access in Camp Washington for the past five years. First with our Camp Washington Art and Mobile Produce Cart to deliver food from the urban farm to our neighbors, and finally by opening up The Welcome Market, a refugee and immigrant run market and kitchen with our grant from Impact 100. The Welcome Market provides a stable option for fresh produce and shelf stable goods to our otherwise food desert community. The market finally came to fruition on February 29th, 2020, opening with much fanfare and community support. The Welcome Market opened at both the absolute worst time in terms of the project now needing to earn revenue from these programs to remain fiscally solvent as well as at the absolute most critical and needed time for our neighborhood as we struggle with food access, especially for those without transportation, the elderly and at risk, and those most in need.
However, COVID19 is keeping our staff at home, our cooking classes cancelled, pop-up dinners postponed, and people out of the market. We are already so lean that we are suffering the unfathomable loss of earned revenue from cancelled ticketed events on which our organization and this initiative in particular depends.
To keep up with escalating food needs in our neighborhood, we quickly expanded our market operations to provide a food and art delivery service to people in need and at high risk in Camp Washington. Residents enrolled in the program receive boxes of fruits, vegetables, and canned and dry goods delivered to their door. In addition to the food, each box includes one piece of art by a different local artist for positivity, connection, and solidarity in a time when we need to nurture our community and collective mental health more than ever. We launched this program quickly and efficiently out of need during this crisis; becoming registered partners of FreeStore Foodbank and Master Provisions, getting Servesafe Certified to accept these donations, and going door to door around the neighborhood with fliers for both online and call-in sign ups all within 24 hours.