The South Bronx is prepping for a new kind of farmers market that will bring healthy, affordable food to as many as 300 people per week, and get this—it’s on wheels! The new South Bronx Mobile Market is a unique a collaboration between Wassaic Community Farm in upstate New York and local healthy food advocate Tanya Fields of the BLK ProjeK. Set on a flamboyantly painted 30-foot bus that will run solely on cooking oil and blast music much like a neighborhood ice cream truck, the mobile market will offer a variety of low-cost produce and ethnic food choices (also payable with food assistance cards) to the Hunts Point community as early as late July.
“Someone smart would say, ‘You don’t have to reinvent the wheel, you just have to put rims on it,’” said Field, who also plans to outfit the bus with solar panels, s to the Daily News. Fields launched the BLK Projek five years ago in an effort to address the lack of access to affordable healthy food in her Hunts Point neighborhood. In February, she hosted a conference and worked to raise funds in support of the project. By campaigning through Indiegogo, where she raised $11,000, and receiving considerable donations from the Claneil Foundation and the Simon Bolivar Foundation, total contributions to bring the mobile market to life reached $65,000.
Similar mobile green market programs have kicked off in other cities where access to healthy food choices in underserved neighborhoods is lacking. The Arcadia Mobile Market has successfully served up local and sustainable food across the Washington, D.C. area over the course of two years. Detroit and New Orleans have also found success in providing quick-access through their mobile markets.
The South Bronx Mobile Market will also source food from Harlem-based Corbin Hill Farm, which works hand in hand with upstate growers to distribute healthy produce to the Harlem area including the Bronx. The new mobile market concept works to address rising health issues including obesity and diabetes in the Bronx, which—according to the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene—maintains the highest rates of obesity and diabetes-related deaths in the city.
Via Daily News