Community market opens at Las Vegas-area elementary school

The Just One Project and United Healthcare Health Plan of Nevada Medicaid partner to open third no-cost community market for Manch Elementary School staff and families. (KLAS/Lauren Negrete).

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) – An enthusiastic pink ribbon cutting for a resource to tackle an important student education issue: food insecurity.

The Just One Project opened its third no-cost community market Tuesday morning, and its first location at an elementary school.

The Community Market at Manch Elementary School is a by-appointment, no-cost market for Manch students, families, faculty, and staff. The aisles featured fresh groceries, produce, nutritional advice, and household necessities.

The Just One Project Founder and CEO, Brooke Neubauer said it will save families $250 a month.

“We target Title 1 schools with a large free and reduced lunch rate,” Neubauer explained. “We also target food deserts, areas that lack access to affordable groceries.”

The Community Market at Manch Elementary School is located in the valley’s largest food desert. Principal Brandon Danowski explained there’d been a gap since Walmart closed eight years ago.

“We haven’t had any accessibility to any kind of food, especially fresh food. They’ve been buying from gas stations and stuff like that,” Danowski said the nearest grocery store is about three and a half miles away.

The addition of the community market means families can get their fruits and vegetables right at school. Danowski called the market changing, and an opportunity to break down barriers and address chronic absenteeism.

The food is free. The help is priceless. Case managers work with families to access Community Connect wraparound services. Those include homeless prevention assistance, rapid rehousing, and workforce development.

The Just One Project and United Healthcare Health Plan of Nevada Medicaid partner to open a third no-cost community market for Manch Elementary School staff and families. (KLAS/Lauren Negrete). 

“Food is the connector and it is all about that safety net for the families,” Neubauer said. “While somebody is food insecure and they need access to groceries, it is wonderful that we can come in and help them with other resources.”

“It is about creating a safety net for families before they go through a crisis before they are displaced from their homes before their power gets shut off,” Neubauer continued. “This is such a powerful tool.”

The Community Market at Manch Elementary School is possible thanks to a two-year collaboration between The Just One Project and UnitedHealthcare Health Plan of Nevada Medicaid, which pledged more than $668,000 to support three no-cost markets at Clark County School District (CCSD) sites and an innovative “Groceries-on-the-Go” program. The CCSD Family Support Center in August 2023 and opened the Community Market at Mojave High School on Feb. 1.

Education

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