Tag: Alliance for a Healthier Generation

Wendell Pierce Creates Supermarket Chain to Help New Orleans Residents

Wendell Pierce welcomes the first customers inside his 25,000 square-foot store.

Wendell Pierce, best known for his roles on “The Wire” and “Treme” is now launching a chain of grocery and convenience stores in places where fresh food can be hard to find.   As a boy, Pierce dreamed of leaving his hometown one day for the world stage. Today, the veteran actor with global credits has returned on a mission: rebuilding neighborhoods, brick by brick, aisle after aisle.

After Hurricane Katrina devastated this city in 2005, Pierce seized an opportunity to help his childhood neighborhood — Pontchartrain Park, an historic enclave for middle-class blacks — get back on its feet. He started the nonprofit Pontchartrain Park Community Development Corp. with a goal of replacing hundreds of flood-ravaged, 1950s-era houses with new homes.  Now, the next item in his recovery recipe is a long-missing ingredient.

Pierce, 50, and his partners are investing big in something seemingly so small: convenient access to a grocery store. They have launched a chain of convenience stores, Sterling Express, and a full-service grocery store, called Sterling Farms, the latter just unveiled in what is often described as a “food desert,” a neighborhood where residents must travel more than a mile to a store selling fresh food. According to 2011 data, 19 percent of all Orleans Parish households have no access to a vehicle.

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12-year-old Chef Haile Thomas “Living her Dream” Helping Kids Eat Healthy

Haile Thomas, 12, cooks on TODAY with Al Roker.

Most kids can’t even spell “quinoa,” let alone cook it; but most kids aren’t 12-year-old Haile Thomas. The Tucson, Ariz., native blew TODAY away Tuesday morning with her absolutely delicious black bean and corn quinoa salad with garlic shrimp and avocado, a dish she recently cooked up for first lady Michelle Obama as part of the first Kids’ State Dinner.

“That was very exciting to have the first lady enjoy my food!” she told Al.  As a tween, Haile’s credentials are more impressive than most 30-year-olds, and she’s hobnobbed with the likes of Tom Colicchio, Alice Waters and even Bill Clinton. Cooking since the age of five by helping her mother in the kitchen, Haile’s interest was piqued by watching food documentaries.

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