Meals insecurity is growing in VCU as a consequence 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 gadgets and necessities on campus. Positioned between Panda Categorical and Insomnia Cookies on West Grace Road, this market will likely be open to college students and people within the Richmond and VCU group—if it ever opens, that’s.

At present, 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 knowledge from its 4 years contained in the VCU group, it closed up store.

These of you who had been right here when the Walmart campus opened undoubtedly keep in mind how straightforward it was to get every thing 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 techniques pupil, stated Walmart was an “essential 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 onerous to discover a good meal that is not the standard selections 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 change 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 essential for the college to take instant motion to deal with these issues. 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 a giant downside. Kroger and Complete Meals on Broad Road are the closest grocery shops to VCU. Kroger is a couple of 20-minute stroll from VCU; Complete Meals is a 26-minute stroll. The GRTC Pulse is an alternate, although it does include its personal challenges like carrying all of your groceries on the bus.

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

Having been a VCU pupil 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 in the beginning of final semester, the main points look like shrouded in secrecy, and don’t have anything to indicate. 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 serious about 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 because the 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. Nicely, it was fall final semester and subsequent week is spring break – am I lacking one thing right here?

Whereas the dearth of progress and updates concerning Ram Metropolis Market has been disappointing, I’m impressed by the work executed with VCU Ram Pantry And Little Ram PantryInitiatives to deal with meals insecurity inside the RVA group. These have been nice undertakings, however we can’t cease right here. Finalizing Ram Metropolis Market is the following step to unravel this lengthy standing downside in our college.

As a pupil at VCU, I name on the college to supply updates to its group concerning 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 group, with college students not having handy and accessible locations to purchase meals.





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