Plump red tomatoes, crisp heads of lettuce, firm Michigan apples, and dozens of other fruits and vegetables fill baskets on the Flint Fresh Mobile Market. This farmer's market on wheels travels around Flint bringing fresh, healthy food to people where they need it: community centers, places of worship, and neighborhood businesses. The traveling market was designed to help Flint residents gain access to healthy foods known to mitigate the effects of lead and improve overall nutrition. The Community Foundation of Greater Flint, Flint Food Works, The Local Grocer, Neighborhood Engagement Hub, and YMCA of Greater Flint have partnered to build and staff the mobile market, which is in operation every Monday through Thursday at various locations.
Market Manager Amber Hasan said the response by community members as been very positive. "Seniors are excited about being able to buy groceries at their senior centers. They can get the produce they need for a good price." One woman Hasan met had a disability that required her to eat a Vegan diet. She also used a wheelchair, which made transportation around town difficult for her. "She was so excited to see us, it was really wonderful," said Hasan. "The Mobile Market makes it possible for her to get a variety of organic and non-GMO vegetables at reasonable prices without leaving home."
In a town commonly known as a food dessert due to the lack of quality locations for purchasing groceries, the Flint Fresh Mobile Market meets a need for residents looking to feed their families with healthy options. In addition to fruits and vegetables, the market has a selection of dry goods including pastas, rice, and beans, as well as ready to eat items such as sandwiches and yogurt. The program also offers cooking demonstrations, physical activities, and health information and events, all organized to promote healthy lifestyle changes among Flint residents.