By Mike Templeton

We have rounded Independence Day, and summer is in full swing. The neighborhood pools are open, kids are off school, and most of us are primarily trying to stay cool as we muster our way through another Cincinnati summer. We love to fuss about the heat, but we also love the fresh summer tomatoes and the neighborhood creamy whip just enough to take the bitter with the sweet. As we get caught up with summer activities, it seems like a great time to remind people of the wellness programs and activities that are going on the Meiser’s Fresh Grocery and Deli. As one of the historically urban Appalachian neighborhoods, and where the Urban Appalachian Community Coalition calls home, Lower Price Hill is always of particular interest. Meiser’s has steadily becomes an anchor of life in the neighborhood, and they continue to develop programs that are designed to better the lives of the people of Lower Price Hill.

Meiser’s Summer Wellness programs are designed to support people throughout the summer. While summer can be a fun time for families, many people struggle with things like childcare, and keeping up with basic needs can be something of a challenge. In order to help meet the needs of people, particularly in Lower Price Hill but also the city more generally, Meiser’s Fresh Grocery and Deli is providing things like their Summertime Kids’ Snack Program. Kids are home, and they are not getting the provided meals that sustain them during the school year. That means it can become difficult for some families to keep up with the needs of children. The Meiser’s Snack Program is really simple. Kids get a healthy meal and a snack of fresh fruit, plus a water bottle completely free. The Snack Program is available twice daily at Meiser’s. The first is available until 11:00 am and the second is available after 3:00. This program is specifically for people in Lower Price Hill.

Meiser’s also provides the Daily Meal Program for people who do not currently have a home and cannot safely store food items. Meiser’s Daily Meal Program is a walk-in program for the unhoused. All people need to do is come into the store, fill out a simple enrollment form, and a meal will be prepared and provided right there. The program requires nothing more than a little patience while you wait for your meal to be prepared. As a neighborhood anchor, Meiser’s seeks to assist everyone, especially those who are potentially most in need.

The Meiser’s community meal is a community event in Lower Price Hill which takes place every Tuesday. The community meal provides a healthy meal and a place for people in the neighborhood to gather and enjoy food and time together. The idea of gathering around a meal as a way of stitching community ties may seem quaint in the digital age, but it is something that lives and breathes at Meiser’s Fresh Grocery and Deli. The premise here is also simple. Every Tuesday from 6:00 to 7:00 pm, meals are provided to the community free of charge. They are prepared by the Lower Price Hill Cooking Club, which is exactly what it sounds like, a group of people who get together regularly, share recipes and cooking knowledge, and make great healthy food. The meals are first come first serve. You must be present to get a meal. If you would like to get involved, the Cooking Club welcomes you, and you can contribute to preparing the meal. Get to the Tuesday meal before 4:30, talk to the folks at Meiser’s, and they will get you signed up. This is a great way to contribute and get involved with your community.

Flyer advertising Meiser’s Free Community Meal every Tuesday

Finally, Meiser’s Green Give Away forms an important part of their Summer Wellness Program, but it, like most of these programs, is a regular feature of Meiser’s community action and assistance. The Green Give Away is a way of stretching your grocery budget with the addition of free fresh produce. These are donated fruits and vegetables located at the front of the store, and they are there for the taking. The folks at Meiser’s offered this pro-tip: the donations come in from different sources almost every day. If you do not see what you need, just come back another day, and you might find it. 

Meiser’s Summer Wellness Program continues through the summer, and as mentioned above, many of these programs are year-round. Lower Price Hill has historically been an urban Appalachian neighborhood, and it remains crucial to the Urban Appalachian Community Coalition. It has been astounding to see how Meiser’s Fresh Grocery and Deli has established itself in the neighborhood and has been leading the way in creating a neighborhood space and providing the people of Lower Price Hill with a real option for fresh food access. As urban neighborhoods have become food deserts, Meiser’s continues to venture on, providing food and wellness for Lower Price Hill and greater Cincinnati. Meiser’s Fresh Grocery and Deli is part of Your Store of the Queen City which seeks to empower neighborhoods by providing fresh food access in the urban neighborhoods of Cincinnati. You can learn more about Your Store of the Queen City here:

To keep up with Meiser’s Fresh Grocery and Deli, you can follow them on Facebook:

Michael Templeton is a writer, and independent scholar. He is the author of The Chief of Birds: A Memoir published with Erratum Press and Impossible to Believe, forthcoming from Iff Books. He is also the author of Collected Apoems, forthcoming from LJMcD Communications and the awaiting of awaiting: a novella, forthcoming from Nut Hole Publishing. Check out his profile in UACC’s Cultural Directory. He has published numerous articles and essays on contemporary culture, creative non-fiction, and experimental works and poetry. He lives in West Milton, Ohio with his wife who is an artist.

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