A South Bronx group is launching a Mobile Food Market to bring fresh fruits and vegetables right to the doors of folks who usually have to travel some distance to get healthy food. NY1's Erin Clarke filed the following report.
The Mobile Food Market, a colorfully decorated school bus that runs on vegetable oil, is getting ready to roll.
"We'd like to have a walk in cooler in the back. We want to have fold out benches that are going to turn into 45 degree angle stands," said Wassaic Community Farm Farmer Benjamin Schwartz.
The stands will display fare from sweet strawberries to leafy greens and cultural favorites like platanos. The bus is a joint venture with the Blk Projek and Wassaic Community Farm.
"We're going to bring organic or pesticide-free produce, as well as other food items from local and rural producers and bring them to the South Bronx. We're going to accept SNAP, food stamps, cash, debit cards, all that kind of stuff and we're literally going to meet people where they are," said Blk Projek Executive Director Tanya Fields.
The Mobile Food Market will initially travel through the South Bronx, an area that has been called a food desert despite being home to Hunts Point Market, one of the world's largest food distribution centers.
"Most of our corner stores, you can't really buy good quality produce and very little meat at all," said Joyce Culler, a Hunts Point resident.
The Mobile Food Market's route hasn't been determined yet, but it could travel down blocks like those in Hunts Point, where residents say it would be very useful.
"The elderly. Oh my God. They don't have to walk to their food stores or their home attendants have to leave them alone to do their shopping," said Eva Sanjurjo, a Hunts Point resident.
The Mobile Food Market will operate three times a week.
And on one weekend day the bus will be used by Wassaic Community Farm for a program that will give a box of food and a ride to South Bronx families visiting loved ones in prisons upstate.
The Mobile Food Market is scheduled to be up and running by late August with informational tours beginning this month.