‘End food apartheid in Baltimore’: Community protests closing of PriceRite Market

SLL photo: Sharon Black

Dec. 17 — Residents of Pigtown in Baltimore and members of the Peoples Power Assembly and Unemployed Workers Union protested in front of the closed PriceRite Market to demand an end to food deserts and the reopening of a full-service supermarket in the neighborhood.  

Participants are planning a citywide protest on Jan. 16 to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy as part of the campaign to end food apartheid in Baltimore.    

Joyce Butler, Peoples Power Assembly representative, stated: “We will be uniting four different communities who suffer from lack of access to fresh, affordable groceries. These neighborhoods include not only Pigtown/Washington Village but also Cherry Hill, Sandtown-Matthew Henson, and Oliver/Broadway East/Johnston Square.

Butler added: “It is more accurate to call ‘food deserts’ food apartheid because it is mostly Black, Brown, and poor communities who are unable to access food. In addition, the increase in food prices is killing all workers.”

The Peoples Power Assembly regularly distributed free food at the Douglas Homes public housing project in Oliver/Broadway East from the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis as part of the “Food Is a Right Campaign.”

The Baltimore City Health Department defines a food desert as a community located more than a quarter-mile from the nearest supermarket, where more than 30% of the households lack access to a car and the median income is at or below the federal poverty level. 

The citywide protest is scheduled for Monday, Jan. 16, beginning at 1 p.m. at Baltimore City Hall, 100 Holliday St.


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