Empowering Communities to Heal Food Deserts with Eric Kornacki | Re:Vision

Pictured: Co-Founders Joseph Teipel (second from left) and Eric Kornacki (far right) with some of their promotoras.

On the Westwood Food Coop – “I’m excited about it but my excitement doesn’t even compare to the excitement of this community when they say, ‘we’re going to own this store,’ and the pride there is palpable.” – Eric Kornacki 

Since 2007, Re:Vision has worked in the Westwood neighborhood in west Denver in pursuit of their mission to “develop resident leaders, cultivate community food systems, and grow self-sufficient economies.” Why Westwood? Well, it’s a food desert, one of many in Denver and across America. Over the last eight years, Re:Vision has gone from an idea inspired by a trip to Nicaragua to portfolio of programs that, among other things, supports over 400 families in growing their own food. This is the largest concentrated community-led urban agriculture project in America.

Eric Kornacki is Executive Director & Co-Founder of Re:Vision. Along with his co-founder, Joseph Teipel, and a Re:Vision team that now numbers over twenty, Eric’s made a big impact in Denver already and has more in the works. Most notably, Re:Vision is in the process of opening the Westwood Food Cooperative, rehabilitating a 74,000 sq. neighborhood junkyard to house Denver’s very first full service grocery store that is led and run by a community living in a food desert. (I’m a happy charter member.)

Listen in to a conversation with a man with a vision for how to transform urban food systems here and across the country.

– IN THIS EPISODE, YOU’LL LEARN –

  • What “food desert” really means and how they begin
  • What makes Westwood a special neighborhood
  • How the social determinants of health can perpetuate food deserts
  • How Eric came full circle with his own eating habits
  • What motivated Eric to start Re:Vision and move to the community he was serving
  • How we need to “follow the money” in how our food dollars support our communities…or don’t
  • What “market leakage” means and how Re:Vision plans to plug the hole
  • How Eric inspired Westwood to meet their own needs by opening a grocery store that they own
  • How the Westwood model can be replicated and how local models must match the communities they serve
  • How people both in and outside food deserts can help with the problem of food access
  • Why every community that relies on food from the outside is a food desert

– THANKS FOR LISTENING –

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