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FreshWorks Funded Northgate Gonzalez Marketplace Brings Healthy Foods to South Los Angeles

Leticia Alejandrez cropped
by
Director of Communications, The California Endowment
Apr 15, 2014

Community and civic leaders gathered on April 15 to celebrate the grand opening of a new Northgate Gonzalez Market location in South Los Angeles, and to honor the memory of Juanita Tate, a passionate advocate for community development and higher quality of life for South Los Angeles residents, who passed away in 2004. 

We know that your zip code should not determine your health but too often a lack of access to fresh, nutritious foods plays a role in whether or not individuals, families and communities are healthy. Today is a shining example of how health can happen right here in your neighborhood – through partnerships that empower people to make healthy individual choices and gives communities the economic opportunities needed to thrive.

Northgate Gonzalez Market brings underserved residents access to quality food and job opportunities, making health happen in South LA neighborhoods. She believed, as we do, that access to fresh food markets such as Northgate Gonzalez is vital in empowering communities to make health happen in their own neighborhoods. 

The availability of healthy foods where people live has been proven to influence healthier long term eating habits. For over one million California residents, access to fresh produce is more than a 20-minute drive from their homes. Adding a supermarket or other healthy food retailer in these neighborhoods improves the health of residents, but also spurs economic development that supports healthy communities. 

This South Los Angeles shopping center is a reflection of more than 30 years of community effort and civic activism.  And through this community’s efforts, the Northgate Gonzalez Marketplace will bring 130 living wage jobs to South Los Angeles. Of the initial new hires, more than 70 percent are local residents from immediate South Los Angeles neighborhoods.  New hires are also diverse – more than 20 percent are African-American, reflecting the customer base Northgate intends to serve.  Eight employees were direct referrals from re-entry programs at either Homeboy Industries or Los Angeles County Probation, and 16 local nonprofits took an active role in making referrals to the ultimate hiring force. 

We are proud to support the Northgate Gonzalez Market as partners in building healthy communities.  The California Endowment is a lead investor in the FreshWorks Fund, which has now deployed over $50 million in food enterprises statewide, and is the largest food financing initiative in the nation. 

Read more. 

Click here to see photos from the opening