Germantown Eateries at a Glance

On Saturday, I walked down a small stretch of Chew Avenue and quickly discovered a diverse collection of restaurants and food stores. The corner shops, restaurants, and grocery stores all catered to different needs and desires. Here is a look at four of the places that I saw today. I used the camera built into my iPhone 4S to take these photos. They all have 400 x 534 dimensions, except for The Fresh Grocer photo, which as 400 x 300 dimensions. Every photo has a resolution of 72 pixels per inch.

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Happy Fortune: Chinese and American Food, 2145 Elkins Ave.

Happy Fortune, a small-sized restaurant just a couple of blocks away from La Salle’s main campus, is multicultural. It serves both classic Chinese dishes and traditional American food. This makes it appealing to a wide audience, so they serve a diverse clientele base with many tastes. The “Grand Opening” banner on the second floor is rather misleading though; Happy Fortune has been at this location on Elkins Ave. for some time. Nevertheless, it’s a good place to go if you’re looking for a quick lunch or a takeout dinner.

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The Fresh Grocer, 5301 Chew Ave.

The Fresh Grocer is a beloved business in the Germantown area. It is also a vital partner with La Salle University’s Exploring Nutrition program. The Fresh Grocer serves a wide array of healthy food and vegetables to customers. It has become a vital business Germantown, because it is one of the few places in the area the prioritizes healthy eating and makes nutritious food readily available. Even on a cold Saturday morning, the store was a busy hub of activity.

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Dunkin’ Donuts, 5301 Chew Ave.

Ironically, this Dunkin’ Donuts was directly next door to The Fresh Grocer. This nationally known doughnut and coffeehouse chain serves a variety of sugary treats and caffeinated beverages. It’s a good place to grab a filling, albeit unhealthy, breakfast to go. This particular Dunkin’ Donuts had a drive thru window, which makes ordering even more expedient. There were quite a few customers inside, but it wasn’t as busy as The Fresh Grocer.

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Wister Beer Distributor, 2100 Conlyn St.

This beer distributor is tucked away behind The Shoppes at La Salle. It advertises “cold beer, sodas, snacks, cigarettes” on a sign above the front door. Small corner stores like these are a common sight in Germantown. Typically, they serve as miniature convenience stores. This means that, while they do serve food and drinks, their selections aren’t very healthy. Wister Beer Distributor was pretty much empty this morning, but that’s to be expected early in the morning.

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Cooperation and Collaboration: Keys to a Good Nutritional Program

WingertTom Wingert, the outgoing coordinator of La Salle University’s Exploring Nutrition program, spoke to our Online Journalism class last week about his efforts to end hunger and promote nutrition in poor, urban communities. Wingert, 26, graduated from La Salle with a degree in Political Science and Economics. Since then, he has put his collegiate studies to good use. Along with his Exploring Nutrition projects, he blogs for The Huffington Post and does advocacy work for an organization called Ignite Good, which he will join full time in February.

Wingert’s talk centered around the idea that cooperation and consolidation are important when it comes to promoting nutrition in local communities. While working on La Salle’s Exploring Nutrition program, Wingert frequently encouraged local food banks such as Philabundance and SHARE to become less territorial and more committed to collaborative efforts in specific Philadelphia neighborhoods, particularly Germantown. Internally, he has gotten La Salle students involved in fundraising drives to purchase fresh food for stores in the Germantown area.

His message of cooperation also extends to his work with Ignite Good. Ignite Good is an advocacy group which encourages young millennial leaders to use their talents to better their communities. Wingert will be traveling to 20 cities over the course of 2014 to help Ignite Good mobilize nationally. He will also be blogging on The Huffington Post’s “Impact” section to spread his message to a wider audience.

When asked about Germantown’s desire for access to healthy food, Wingert said that “[Germantown] feels so slighted by the rest of the community” and that its residents are extremely interested in increasing the number of nutritional food stores in their neighborhood.

As we begin to explore the Germantown area, it will be interesting to get a firsthand perspective of the food choices that are available in this neighborhood, and what different residents think about them.