Chris Peake is coming back to the neighborhood he grew up in to rewrite the narrative around food insecurity.

Peake was raised across the street from 511 S. Hoskins Rd., the site where Carolina Farm Trust, a nonprofit working to strengthen local food systems, will develop their local foods distribution and production center in west Charlotte.

  • “I used to clean the parking lot right there where Mr. Quick is,” Peake told me.
  • He recalled seeing grocery stores leave the Thomasboro-Hoskins neighborhood over the years, making fresh and nutritious food in the neighborhood hard to find.

Why it matters: Food insecurity in west Charlotte has been an issue for decades, and a lack of access to healthy food has directly affected the community’s well-being.

  • Only 13 percent of housing units west of Uptown have a full-service, chain grocery store within 1/2-mile, per UNC Charlotte’s quality of life explorer.
  • The county-wide average is 32%. 
  • Neighborhoods like Dilworth, the number is 86%.

What’s happening: Carolina Farm Trust CEO Zack Wyatt told Axios the site will offer wholesale, retail and delivery options, a studio kitchen, community and event space, plus an urban farm. It’ll also help address supply chain issues.

Aimed at tackling food insecurity, the center will be a place where community members can come to purchase affordable fruits, vegetables, meat and dairy.

  • CFT will refurbish the existing two buildings, with Neighboring Concepts serving as the architect on the project.
  • The space sits next to a rail line that is no longer in use. They plan to add railcars for both the historic look and the function of extra gathering space.
  • Peake will serve as the distribution center’s general manager.