|Title||The Pulaski Pike Market: From Charity to Systemic Change|
|Year of Publication||2011|
|Authors||Strickland, K, Whitman, JR|
In 2007, the Board of Directors of the Food Bank of North Alabama (FBNA) and its Executive Director, Dick Hiatt, reached a crossroads. The Food Bank, a 501(c) 3 nonprofit charity, was one of eight food banks located throughout Alabama1 charged with the procurement and distribution of food to those in need. Despite the Food Bank’s respectable impact - providing food to approximately 89,000 individuals through over 200 partner agencies across North Alabama - the agency’s leaders wrestled with how, or even if, they could adopt a proactive strategy to mitigate, if not eliminate, the sources of poverty that created the need for charity in the first place.
...A Steering Committee committed to community asset-building and social entrepreneurship emerged and developed a plan to alter the dynamic of poverty and achieve systemic change by creating new jobs locally vested in the Terry Heights Hillandale community, an economically distressed neighborhood of Huntsville, Alabama This team of social entrepreneurs worked to establish a worker cooperative grocery store located within the Terry Heights Hillandale community that would create jobs and offer residents, many of whom lacked reliable transportation, convenient access to healthier food choices, including fresh produce grown by local farmers. To develop and implement this initiative - called the Pulaski Pike Market -the partners recognized the unique advantages of a collaboration that married public sources of programmatic financial support and private sources of capital to launch an entrepreneurial enterprise committed to social change beyond charity.