At first glance a story about a health system opening a neighborhood market seems like it’s only about food insecurity, but in Toledo it’s about so much more.
In 2015, ProMedica, parent of Toledo Children’s Hospital and 13 other hospitals, opened a small full-service grocery store in the city’s UpTown neighborhood. In addition to providing that community with fresh, healthy food, the site also includes job training, nutrition and wellness classes, financial education, and more.
Market on the Green
Opening its doors two years ago, Market on the Green offers a full selection of groceries with an emphasis on fresh foods from local providers. While sweets like cookies and ice cream are available at Market on the Green, customers quickly notice that healthier foods are priced lower than their less healthy counterparts in order to encourage shoppers to make healthy choices.
Market on the Green serves many from the neighborhood, which was previously considered a food desert, but has also become a shopping destination for those from other parts of the region who choose to shop there to support the mission. And that mission includes more than just providing healthy food options.
The second floor of the building has a large demonstration kitchen where “Cooking Matters” classes are taught as well as classroom space where community members can come for GED classes, certified nursing assistant classes and soon medical assistant training as well.
Beyond offering classroom education in the building, hands-on training is provided through ProMedica’s one-year job training program, which is how the market is primarily staffed. Those in the program come from the UpTown neighborhood and are in need of job skills and a second chance. In addition to being paid for their work in the market, they are also paid for an extra four hours per week to provide time to address more systemic issues they face, such as studying for a GED or receiving counseling. Participation in the program also gives them the opportunity to open a bank account with ProMedica’s Credit Union, helping them build a positive financial and credit history as well.
“Market on the Green has been embraced by the community, and ProMedica is grateful for the support. Our commitment to this neighborhood is long term, and we look forward to continuing to work with residents and partners to bring additional services and opportunities,” said Barbara J. Petee, chief advocacy and government relations officer.
For more information on Market on the Green or ProMedica’s other efforts in community health, contact Stephanie Cihon.
This article is part of a series, spotlighting aspects of member hospital’s work in community health. If you have a topic you’d like to submit for consideration, contact Stacy Biddinger