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April 29th, 2015

Fresh Groceries Are Now Permanently Sold in Alton Park, South Chattanooga

CHATTANOOGA, TN.—Alton Park, Chattanooga received its first permanent fresh produce store this month.

The Southside Market located at 202 W. 38 St., now offers fresh fruits and vegetables to its 500-600 daily customers Monday through Sunday.

Storeowner Mahmood Abdullah says the idea has always been there. “Many of our people are diabetic and many of our people have hypertension,” Mahmood Abdullah, Southside Market storeowner said. “By us eating right, we can curtail many of these ailments which are problems of ours.” 

The plan for the fresh produce store began when YMCA of Metropolitan Chattanooga Project Manager Bill Rush, and an unspecified woman Mr. Abdullah identifies as Ms. Williams, approached Mahmood about offering fresh produce to the community of Alton Park. 

Sometime afterward, Mr. Mahmood Abdullah located a cooler, and began receiving the same produce the Chattanooga Mobile Market sells.

Chattanooga Mobile Market Manager Sumner Gray, who sells produce to the Alton Park community on every Wednesday from 4:00 -6:00 a.m. is excited about the partnership.

Pictured: Chattanooga Mobile Market parked in the College Hill Courts

Pictured: Mobile Market Manager Sumner Gray and a long-time customer and friend.

Mr. Gray keeps track of the produce in the Southside Market.

“It’s going pretty good,” Sumner says.

The community seems to like bell peppers, corn, oranges, tomatoes, grapes, and sweet potatoes.

Mr. Abdullah understands the importance of healthy eating. “Eating right helps you to think,” Mahmood said, “It helps you to grasp knowledge.” 

This is especially important to help restore the dignity of Alton Park residents who sometimes struggle from the cycle of cyclical poverty which includes permanent welfare for some, illiteracy, hopelessness, gang violence, and low higher education attainment. 

Mr. Abdullah is currently in the process of informing residents about the new produce, and plans to being displaying fresh produce in front of the store, beginning the first of the month. 

According to Sumner, “the idea is to find another under-served community and set up there.” 

The Southside Market is open Monday through Sunday from 8 a.m. to midnight. 

 If you live in a local food dessert, and want to find a Mobile Market location to shop at, visit their website at

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