ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. (KMOX) – Bi-State Development and Metro are looking to create an oasis in the “food desert” of north St. Louis County.
“A significant number of residents in the north county area live more than a mile from the nearest grocery store,” according to Bi-State Development Director of Communications Patti Beck. “And that is a major concern and issue for those who don’t own a car.”
She says The Link Market Food Kiosk pilot program will be launched at both the Hanley and Wellston transit stations.
“This will allow convenient access to our riders and nearby residents to access these healthier food options,” according to Beck. “The fresh fruits, the fresh vegetables, the healthier staples which will hopefully contribute to a healthier lifestyle.”
The Bi-State Development Research Institute, a non-profit enterprise of Bi-State Development, was awarded a grant of nearly $540,000 from the Missouri Foundation for Health to fund the 18-month The Link Market pilot program.
Beck says they’re not just paying lip-service to the term “fresh”, as products sold at The Link Market Food Kiosks will be shipped from within a 100-mile radius.
“We’re reaching out to sources from Missouri and Illinois farmers,” she added. “Other food items that are supported by the SNAP program will also be available.”
Beck said even if the food kiosks at the Hanley and Wellston transit stops aren’t ready to open immediately after Thursday’s ribbon-cutting ceremony, they will be very soon.