Bringing home a handful of bagged groceries on the Broad Street Line is a tough but necessary reality for Temple students.
The selection of fresh food for North Philadelphia residents north of Girard Avenue is limited, but they have found ways around it.
“There is nowhere else to go around here. I keep wondering when a store is going to come,” said Mildred, who preferred to be identified by first name only, as she stood outside of Progress Plaza.
Mildred, a resident of Yorktown, only has to walk a block from her home at 13th and Oxford streets to purchase produce from Mike Hunter, the vendor who sells fresh fruits and vegetables from his truck along Jefferson Street.
Mildred was once able to go to the Superfresh at Progress Plaza and purchase anything she needed for cooking. The lot where Superfresh once stood is now littered with uprooted tree stumps.
“It was convenient,” she said. “I’m still doing some cooking.”
Mildred said doing any kind of substantial shopping is impossible without a car of her own. She rolled her eyes at the thought of a 24-hour supermarket opening in the plaza.
“We have been hearing that for years,” she said.
Kim, a North Philadelphia resident, lives at Ninth and Brown streets and splits her grocery shopping between the goods Hunter provides and the Reading Terminal Market, located at 12th and Arch streets.
“I got no problem walking when it’s nice out,” Kim said.
The temperature almost reached 40 degrees by the afternoon that day, which must have been good enough for Kim to forego her top three spots, Save-A-Lot, Cousins and ShopRite.
“Those places are convenient if there’s a sale, but the prices have been going up. It’s outrageous,” Kim said.
She used to frequent the Superfresh at Progress Plaza faithfully until it closed. Since then, she has been forced to search for new and farther locations to do her shopping.
“If they got sales, I’ll be coming [to the Fresh Grocer], too,” she said about the new supermarket slated to open at Progress Plaza this year. “I just don’t want to use up too many of my food stamps.”
Greg Adomaitis can be reached at email@example.com.