Through grant funding and community planning, the City of National City has been making efforts to address food insecurity in neighborhoods throughout the city, and many stakeholders have come together to address these goals, which culminated in a Market Makeover event that signaled one of many important steps towards this effort.
Collaboration with the local nonprofits led to the transformation of the Old Town Market & Deli to create a public space and healthy hub in the heart of Old Town National City. The collaboration included: A Reason to Survive (ARTS); BrightSide Produce San Diego and the Sage Project, two programs from Center for Regional Sustainability at San Diego State University; Spurlock Landscape Architects; the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency; the Live Well Community Market Program; the City of National City representatives and their Together We Can! Program; and the store owner.
In June 2018, volunteers from these organizations, as well as the National City community and beyond came together to help beautify and transform this local market place, which involved: increasing fresh produce offerings via partnership with BrightSide; installation of planters featuring mosaic art created by local elementary school children; installation of a succulent wall, as well as a trellis shade structure designed by local high school students through ARTS; a new coat of paint on the building façade; and the installation of a mural designed by ARTS students and teachers. All together these elements create a wonderfully welcoming place. Within a week of the transformation, a “Little Free Library” sprouted in the parkway strip by the south sidewalk.
This is an excellent example of current efforts in National City by Brightside to foster better nutrition and ARTS’ efforts to create vibrant, healthy communities. The community collaboration that led to this charming transformation is most deserving of an Orchid.