After a short move across the street, All People's Fresh Market is open for business, feeding those in need on the South Side five days a week.
"What it allows for is for folks to come more often," said Sheldon Johnson, managing director of Community Development for All People, of which the market is affiliated.
The market is in the former German Village Drive-Thru building at 945 Parsons Ave.
It has tripled in size from its former digs at 936 Parsons Ave., which was open just 1 1/2 days a week, Johnson said.
The shoppers, who get their groceries for free, are mostly those who make 200 percent ($24,120) of the national poverty level ($12,060) and are on the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
They operate on the honor system and are not required to show proof of income levels, but must sign up for a scanning card that must be shown at the checkout line, Johnson said.
Customers can come as often as once a day and take home what will fit into a single small grocery basket, he said.
That allows them to develop a relationship with employees and volunteers at the market, who inform shoppers of events, such as cooking and exercise classes, held on the property and through affiliated organizations, Johnson said.
Shelves are stocked mostly with fresh vegetables and fruit, plus some packaged goods, bread and meats.
He said Parsons is considered a food desert, meaning fresh groceries are a scarcity in the area.
The inventory, which changes frequently, is supplied free of charge by the Mid-Ohio Foodbank and a few local grocery stores, Johnson said.
"We'll have more than enough (food)," he said.
Meanwhile, Bikes for All People, which refurbishes bicycles and sells them at low prices to people on the South Side, is expanding into the former market space adjacent to the south.
The Rev. John Edgar, executive director of Community Development for All People, said in a prepared statement the group spent $500,000 on the purchase and renovation of the drive-thru and other buildings across the street, and paid off the mortgage of the ministry center, also located on the east side of Parsons.
The goal is to raise $1 million to accomplish the goals, said Edgar, who also is senior pastor of the United Methodist Church of All People, which is part of Parsons Avenue complex.
He said it is hoped the market will encourage people to eat healthier and live healthier lifestyles.
"Over the next few weeks the outside area will be transformed into a plaza with raised bed gardens, intermingled with places to sit and relax," Edgar said in the statement.
"There will be food trucks, community celebrations, exercise classes and farmers markets -- a ... place connecting people on both sides of Parsons Avenue."