Meals insecurity is rising in VCU as a result of delay in ‘Ram Metropolis Market’


Illustration by Tess Vladari

Nicolas Barhona, contributing author

Ram Metropolis Market – Have you ever heard about it? If you have not, let me introduce you to what would be the new area for all of the meals objects and necessities on campus. Positioned between Panda Specific and Insomnia Cookies on West Grace Road, this market will probably be open to college students and people within the Richmond and VCU neighborhood—if it ever opens, that’s.

At the moment, the area between these two meals institutions on West Grace Road is vacant, and it has been for a while. From April 2015 To July 2019, a “Walmart on Campus” mini-grocery retailer occupied the spot. Walmart opened as a pilot program, and after gathering information from its 4 years contained in the VCU neighborhood, it closed up store.

These of you who had been right here when the Walmart campus opened positively keep in mind how straightforward it was to get the whole lot you wanted with out having to hike to the closest grocery retailer. Even with generally lengthy traces, its centralized location and proximity to college students made it extremely handy.

Carlos Farias, senior enterprise info programs scholar, stated Walmart was an “necessary place” the place college students picked up “on a regular basis necessities” with out having to journey very far.

“Being a freshman and in a dorm with no kitchen, it is arduous to discover a good meal that is not the usual decisions you accept on the VCU,” Farias stated.

Clearly, there’s a want for an on-campus grocery retailer for VCU college students. In August 2021, VCU Information reported that Ram Metropolis Market would substitute Walmart, with a Anticipated opening date in “late fall or early spring.” No public updates have been made since then.

We can’t understate how rampant meals insecurity is amongst school college students, which is why it’s so necessary for the college to take speedy motion to handle these considerations. Youngmi Kim, affiliate professor on the VCU College of Social Work, discovered that About 35% of VCU college students expertise meals insecurityWith constraints together with transportation and restricted funds.

Transport specifically is an enormous drawback. Kroger and Entire Meals on Broad Road are the closest grocery shops to VCU. Kroger is a few 20-minute stroll from VCU; Entire Meals is a 26-minute stroll. The GRTC Pulse is another, although it does include its personal challenges like carrying all of your groceries on the bus.

If you do not have a automobile on campus, how are you anticipated to journey to get the whole lot you actually need? It’s unrealistic to imagine that many individuals can and can make this trek.

Having been a VCU scholar for some time, I’ve change into accustomed to the empty area on West Grace Road. Nonetheless, Walmart closed about three years in the past. We waited two years, nothing extra. Regardless of Ram Metropolis Market being named because the substitute initially of final semester, the small print look like shrouded in secrecy, and don’t have anything to point out. Grand opening date? I could not let you know.

Shifting on from the unit the place the market is about to be, you will discover the “Coming Quickly” signal and deal with @vcu_dining On Instagram for anybody all for updates in regards to the market. I can prevent the difficulty of doing this and let you know what I discovered after scouring the account – nothing. Not a single replace has been given for the reason that preliminary announcement.

I want we should always skip the introductory article launched six months in the past VCU Information She stated the market would open in late fall or early spring. Properly, it was fall final semester and subsequent week is spring break – am I lacking one thing right here?

Whereas the shortage of progress and updates relating to Ram Metropolis Market has been disappointing, I’m impressed by the work carried out with VCU Ram Pantry And Little Ram PantryInitiatives to handle meals insecurity inside the RVA neighborhood. These have been nice undertakings, however we can’t cease right here. Finalizing Ram Metropolis Market is the subsequent step to unravel this lengthy standing drawback in our college.

As a scholar at VCU, I name on the college to offer updates to its neighborhood relating to the market. The shortage of transparency has led me to imagine that this isn’t a precedence within the eyes of the VCU. The longer this doesn’t go on, the extra meals insecurity will come up inside our neighborhood, with college students not having handy and accessible locations to purchase meals.





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