CTK Students Help Bring Fresh Food Market to Austin

Two CTK sophomores helped to bring positive change to their Austin community this summer. Donovan ’23 and D’Marcus ’23 were part of a group of ten teenagers at the By the Hand Club who shared ideas in June for improving their neighborhood with a group of professional athletes led by former Chicago Bears player, Sam Acho. Those ideas were the inspiration for the demolition of a West Side liquor store, and the establishment of a youth-led fresh food market on its site. Research had shown that there were 17 liquor stores and just 2 grocery stores within a half mile radius of the location. As D’Marcus noted, “People who have had to travel far for their groceries, will now be able to go just down the street for fresh, healthy food for their families.”

In mid-August, D’Marcus and Donovan were proudly greeting customers and selling groceries at the newly opened Austin Harvest Market. Several CTK teachers and staff members attended the opening celebration nearby our school, in support of our students and the Austin community. English teacher, Ms. Rita Gondocs expressed her pride in a note to the two students, saying, “It was an incredible honor to have been invited to Austin Harvest's opening celebration. I felt so proud to see both of you interacting confidently and joyfully with customers. Today, both of you exemplified our value of being committed to justice. You saw a need for fresh, high-quality food in Austin and chose that as a goal this summer.” Congratulations to these young leaders for demonstrating their commitment to making a positive difference.

The Austin Harvest Market at 423 N. Laramie, is open Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 2 to 6 pm