Residents of the North End and Broadway Neighborhoods in Newport have expressed that limited transportation is a problem when shopping for healthy food. Grocery stores containing fresh, healthy and affordable foods are out of reach for many Newport residents. Because of this, only 19% of residents in the North End eat fruits and veggies more than once a day.

The Newport Health Equity Zone (HEZ) Fresh Zone initiative is working to provide options for residents to access fresh fruits and vegetables on a more consistent basis. One option they are initiating is to bring vegetables and fruit closer to residents on a regular schedule.

On Thursday, May 10 at 11 am the HEZ will launch the first Fresh Zone at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center. The Fresh Zone is a portable fruit and vegetable stand. It will travel to locations that are more accessible to residents. Members of the HEZ Food Access group will assist in identifying the dates food pantries offer fruits and vegetables.

“We are excited to have traveling displays that will give fresh food options to our community,” said Jazmine Wray, Food Access Certified Community Health Worker.  “Currently we have two traveling Fresh Zones kits and we are hoping to add more; we would like to add more locations as well.”

By creating Fresh Zones in multiple locations Newport residents will have easier access to fresh, affordable produce. From now on, when you see a sign for a Newport HEZ “Fresh Zone,” you will know instantly the food you see is fresh and healthy. Fresh Zone locations will also have locally grown foods.   For working adults, families, and seniors with limited mobility, this means shopping for fruits and vegetables just got easier. Farmer’s Markets are another convenient place to shop fresh, healthy, and local. The Newport HEZ Fresh Zone initiative will increase visibility of local farmers markets, so you never miss an opportunity to eat fresh. Look for Fresh Zone signs around town or visit Newport HEZ on Facebook for updates on times and locations.

The HEZ is hoping that the community and local businesses will promote this important initiative by sponsoring a Fresh Zone mobile kit.  These first two kits were sponsored by Worldways Social Marketing located in Newport. To learn more contact 401-846-5263.

Ryan Belmore is the Publisher of What'sUpNewp. 
Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Belmore graduated from Coventry High School and the Community College of Rhode Island. In addition to living in Newport for 10 years, he has lived in Portsmouth, Coventry, Providence, Smithfield, Burrillville, and East Greenwich.

Belmore currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals. He previously served on the Board of Lucy's Hearth and the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County.

Belmore and his wife, Jen, currently live in Alexandria, Virginia, a move they made in 2021. Read more about that here - https://whatsupnewp.com/2021/09/letter-from-the-publisher-some-personal-news/

Belmore visits Newport every couple of weeks to support the 12+ paid contributors What'sUpNewp has on the ground across Rhode Island, a place he called home for 39 years.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.

In 2020, Belmore was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.
Belmore can be contacted at ryan@whatsupnewp.com and 401-662-1653.