It’s that cold, hard reality that makes me wish we had a magic wand to wave and fix everything.
But we can’t. Earlier this summer, the City Council rejected a proposal to fund two vans and a driver with Community Development Block Grant funds to help people on the northside of town get to the grocery store so they could have better access to healthy food options.
This followed the Healthy Conditions Assessment that Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation funded earlier this year. As I mentioned in my State of the City Address in March,
focused on three areas that need attention: affordable housing, public transportation and access to healthy food.
And I asked then: What role does city government play in addressing these issues versus private sector participation? Clearly government can’t solve these matters, but collaboration could make a difference.
So, this summer, I decided to pull together a wide variety of people who work hard to improve the lives of people in Nampa. Jean Mutchie, St. Luke’s Children’s Program manager, and Sheri Ainsworth, Saint Alphonsus director of Mission Integration and Community Health & Well Being, are leading the group and setting the course.
The Healthy Impact Nampa Coalition has had three meetings. We’ve had some inspiring successes, thanks to private entities willing to step up.
Remember those vans that got rejected? Well, this Coalition found a way to try it out with private assistance. Thanks to Boise Rescue Mission and Bill Roscoe, an 18-passenger van and driver will transport Northside residents to a nearby grocery store for a three-month period. St. Luke’s and Saint Alphonsus are each donating $2,500 to fund this trial effort. Stay tuned for details.
The Boise Food Market brought its mobile market four Tuesdays in September over to the Northside. Private donations are funding the trial period in September and May to see what kind of interest there is.