By Leonard E. Colvin
New Journal and Guide
For many decades the Jordan-Newby Library on Park Avenue served the Brambleton community.
The building was vacated several years ago, and in 2018, a new updated Jordan-Newby Anchor Branch at Broad Creek opened a few blocks away on Princess Anne Road.
Now the city of Norfolk has repurposed the old building into one of the tools to address the city’s issue of food insecurity in various neighborhoods.
Recently, the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore introduced the Community Feed at Jordan-Newby during a grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony.
According to Emma Inman, the Foodbank’s Chief Impact Officer, similar food hubs are located in the Young Terrace Public Housing community, Portsmouth’s Wesley Center and in Accomack County.
The new Community Feed provides free access to fresh fruits and vegetables and is serving as a resource center enabling individuals to connect with one another over great food and conversation and resources such as recipe cards, books and wellness materials. It is also offering workshops and learning sessions led by strategic community partners to address the root causes of food insecurity, which include lack of access to financial literacy, housing, employment, higher education and health care.
Service providers include but are not limited to FEAST VA, a weekly food education program; The Up Center, which offers housing and financial wellness counseling; Promethean Group, a volunteer and student-run mobile primary medical care clinic; and The Turnaround Place, an organization that assists individuals who have experienced life challenges and are ready to take a positive turn.
The Community Feed at Jordan-Newby is supported by several distribution partners, including Booker T. Washington High School, Second Calvary Baptist Church, Grace Episcopal, Prince Hall Masonry, and the Veterans Coalition.
“The Foodbank is reimagining the future of food banking and transforming our models to better meet the needs of our community,” said Dr. Ruth Jones Nichols, President & CEO, Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore.
“We have been intentional about soliciting feedback from the individuals and families we serve and look forward to implementing best practices at our newest location of The Community Feed at the Jordan-Newby Library.”
The Community Feed at Jordan-Newby officially opened on Tuesday, September 7, and is open to all community members on Tuesdays from 12:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m., Thursdays from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m., and
Saturdays from 8:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
The Foodbank’s four food hubs are located in communities that are disparately impacted by food insecurity. This is the second hub to open in the City of Norfolk through a partnership with the City that has provided the use of two facilities to the Foodbank. One is located at the Young Terrace Community Center, and this new hub is located in the former Jordan-Newby Library building at 961 Park Ave., Norfolk, VA 23504.
More information about The Community Feed is available at www.FoodbankOnline.org/TheCommunityFeed.