Feeding Our Future Hopkins: light rail defeats free food

I revisit a site in Hopkins once bustling with free-food, and now given over to the ever-forthcoming Southwest light rail extension.

The Southwest light rail transit project (officially known as the Metro Green Line extension) will eventually run from Target Field in downtown Minneapolis to a station in suburban Eden Prairie, more than 14 miles away.

The project can trace its origins back to 1988. Over the years, the estimated price tag has more than doubled, and now stands at close to $3 billion (with a “b”). That works out to almost $200 million per mile.

Likewise, the in-service date keeps slipping, and is now quoted as 2027, at the earliest.

If and when the trains do begin rolling, this will become the Blake Road stop on the line:

More or less where this station now stands, a local grocery, also named after the road, occupied the site:

The business is permanently closed, and the building is now gone. But before light rail construction came along, this site was purportedly used by a non-profit associated with Hoda Abdi, Feeding Our Future defendant No. 70 and Guilty Plea No. 18. At one point, the location was listed with a capacity to feed more than 1,000 children per day.

In this view of the rail line, you can see a couple of brand-new apartment buildings, fronting on Excelsior Avenue.

Previously, this property was the site of a small strip-mall shopping center. One of the storefronts there was registered by a different nonprofit with a 1,500 child/day feeding capacity.

A couple of former free-food sites at this location are still standing, albeit penned in by new apartment construction.

This tutoring company was owned by Khadra Abdi, defendant No. 57 in the case. She has pled not guilty.

At one point, the office shown above claimed a feeding capacity of 2,000 children/day. Her food supplier occupied an adjacent building, the Sambusa King restaurant. The restaurant is still open and was doing a brisk business on a recent Sunday afternoon.

Sambusa King’s owner is Abdulkadir Awale, defendant No. 56 and Guilty Plea No. 10 in the case. His restaurant was, at one point, separately registered as a food distribution site.

Out with the old, in with the new.