(BINGHAMTON, N.Y.) — Mayor Richard C. David today announced the launch of a North Side shuttle service that will provide free transportation for residents to and from City grocery stores.
Starting June 12, the shuttle will run two days a week, with morning, afternoon and evening hours, bringing riders to the Weis on Robinson St. on Mondays and the Price Chopper on Glenwood Ave. on Thursdays. The Lee Barta Community Center on Liberty St. will serve as the pick-up location.
“While the City remains committed to locating a full-service grocery store, we continue to implement creative options to meet the current needs of North Side residents,” said Mayor Richard C. David. “This shuttle will eliminate a major obstacles for many residents, lack of transportation, and make it easier for North Side families to put healthy food on their tables.”
The City will fund the North Side Grocery Shuttle initiative, and the Community Hunger Outreach Warehouse (CHOW) will operate the shuttle. The shuttle is a pilot program funded through the rest of the year with Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds, estimated at $17,200, which cover the transportation costs, as well as a staff member to coordinate services.
“We are excited to join Mayor David in another partnership that will provide North Side residents with greater access to fruits, vegetables, meat and other important food options,” said Jack Seman, Director of CHOW. “This shuttle is a critical step in our shared mission of ending hunger and improving the health of all our residents.”
The shuttle will run on Mondays and Thursdays, picking up riders outside the Lee Barta Community Center. On Mondays, the shuttle will make pick-ups at 11 a.m. and 5 p.m., and the drop-off location will be Weis. On Thursdays, pick-ups will take place at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m., with Price Chopper as the destination.
Shuttle riders will have about an hour to shop after getting dropped off at the grocery store before the shuttle returns to the North Side.
“This shuttle will fill a huge need on the North Side, providing a crucial link between residents and affordable, healthy food options,” said Erin Monroe, Manager of Healthy Lifestyles Coalition. “Providing shuttle service during different hours of the day, including hours outside the traditional 9 to 5 work day, ensures people with different schedules are able to take advantage of the service.”
The North Side has not had a full-service grocery store since the Grand Union closed its doors in the 1990s.
“We will continue to do all we can to bring a grocery store back to the North Side,” said Mayor David. “In the meantime, we will keep working to break down barriers and give residents the access they deserve to a full slate of healthy food options.”
Last year, Mayor David announced a pilot program, in partnership with CHOW and other community organizations, to bring a North Side Fresh Mobile Market to the Binghamton Plaza. The mobile market visits the Binghamton Plaza, Town and Country Apartments and the Lee Barta Community Center three days a week to sell fresh fruits and vegetables.
Interested residents can call CHOW at (607) 727-6547 to learn more about the shuttle and reserve a spot.
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