Tag Archives: New Columbia

Making Portland’s complex food deserts grow green

Fresh vegetables are the star at the new Village Market, a nonprofit grocery store serving low-income families in North Portland.

By Amanda Waldroupe, Staff Writer

Not having a grocery store near North Portland’s New Columbia neighborhood after Big City Produce closed in 2007, “was sad,” says resident Trevon Oliver.

Oliver, who has lived in New Columbia for four years, says people had to travel at least two and a half miles to the nearest grocery store, a Safeway in St. Johns neighborhood. Oliver traveled 12 miles to the WinCo on NE 102nd because food prices there were cheaper.

Grocery shopping became stressful. “A lot of people around here do not like to travel,” Oliver says. Two TriMet bus lines serve New Columbia, but only one runs regularly. Many in the elderly population who can’t drive relied upon friends or family for transportation. And some of New Columbia’s immigrant community — representing 22 countries and speaking 11 languages — are not fluent in English, and unfamiliar with Portland’s transportation system. Continue reading