Bridging the Opportunity Divide

Despite Living in a Food Desert, One Community is Eating Healthy

September 30, 2014
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Despite Living in a Food Desert, One Community is Eating Healthy
Guilford’s mobile farmers market will sell goods from a local farm in Gibsonville, N.C. Phil Walter/Getty Images
The creative solution that's giving this town's residents access to fresh produce.

What does a hipster like more than a food truck? A farmers market. Combine those two things together, and you have a way to bring farm-fresh healthy eats to countless people.

As TakePart reports, starting tomorrow (Oct. 1) and running to Nov. 26, a farmers market on wheels called the Mobile Oasis Farmers Market will be rolling around Guilford County, N.C. as part of a nine-week-long pilot program organized by the county’s Public Health Department.

According to the report, the county is home to 60,000 residents who live in the area’s 24 food deserts (which means they are more than a mile from the closest supermarket). About 20 percent of the population are low-income, and many cannot afford cars — which means they don’t have a lot of fresh-food options.

MORE: Why Public Markets Are So Important 

“A lot of these folks don’t have transportation and end up doing shopping at convenience stores or local corner stores,” Janet Mayer, a nutritionist with the department, tells TakePart.

It’s important to recognize how the lack of access to fresh food can negatively impact one’s health. Since these residents can’t get to fruits and veggies, why not bring fruits and veggies to them? Guilford’s mobile farmers market will sell goods such as broccoli, collard greens, sweet and white potatoes, pumpkins, onions, apples and kale from Smith Farms Greenhouses, a local farm in Gibsonville, N.C.

The trailer will visit two food deserts every week, setting up shop by the Department of Social Services in Greensboro, N.C. and at the Warnersville Community Center. As for the prices, the mobile farmers market is said to be “really reasonable” and will accept SNAP and EBT benefits.

With any luck, Guilford’s farmer’s market will be a rolling success.

DON’T MISS: This Innovative Idea Brings Produce Directly to Low-Income Communities

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