Planning Underway for Lincoln Park Neighborhood Grocery

St. Louis
Healthy Eating
Success Story

May 10, 2024

Grocery shopping in Duluth’s Lincoln Park neighborhood is challenging for many residents. While residents could walk to several corner grocery stores to buy food in the mid- 1900s, over time, small corner stores closed as supermarkets opened in other neighborhoods, leaving Lincoln Park with no grocery store. In this historically disinvested neighborhood, 34.3% of residents live below the federal poverty line and the median household income is about $40,000 less than the state median. In addition, more than 40% of households do not have access to a vehicle. These factors make accessing nutritious and fresh food difficult in Lincoln Park. Through community conversation and surveying, we know that Lincoln Park residents’ top priority is better food access in the form of a neighborhood grocery store.

Guided by social determinants of health research, resident leadership, and over a decade of community engagement, Ecolibrium3 seeks to establish a collaborative healthy food culture in Lincoln Park. The creation of a small footprint neighborhood grocery that will prioritize affordable, fresh, and nutritious foods and accept SNAP benefits, will address the existing health and economic disparities.

SHIP has provided financial support and technical assistance as we have moved through the phases of this project, from building renovation to grocery store design. The location for the grocery store has been identified: a historic 1,800 square foot building located on the main throughway, West Superior Street, which is on the cross-city bike route and the public bus line.

We are currently developing RFPs to attract a general contractor and a grocery store operator who embodies the expression of this vision. Hammel, Green and Abrahamson (HGA), provided pro bono help to bring this vision to life by conducting a planning charrette with Eco3 staff. This work resulted in a delightful, colorful rendering of a potential store layout. Many folks we communicate with, such as neighborhood residents, other nonprofits, neighboring businesses, and construction contractors, have an excited glow in their eyes when we share our goal of opening the Lincoln Park Grocery. The excitement of bringing healthy, nutritious, affordable food to our community is the cornerstone of building partnerships for this project.

With the support from SHIP and our other partners, we can bring grocery shopping back to Lincoln Park.

By Adam Kurowski, Community and Energy Projects Manager for Ecolibrium3

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