Bobby Blake, Flint Fresh Mobile Market Assistant Manager
Bobby Blake knows what it means to live in a food desert. “When the grocery stores left town, there was no place to buy fruits and vegetables,” he said. “I had to get on a bus and travel a long distance just to feed my family.”
When Bobby first heard about the Flint Fresh Mobile Market, he thought it was a great solution to the problem he and thousands of Flint residents faced--lack of access to healthy food. The Mobile Market is a converted MTA bus that travels around the city setting up a mini-farmer’s market at 10 different sites. Today, Bobby is the assistant manager.
“We believe access to food is a matter of human dignity,” said Pam Bailey, Director of Fundraising for the YMCA of Greater Flint, one of the projects collaborating organizations, and President of the Flint Fresh Board of Directors.
The Community Foundation is also one of the partners and we invested $93,000 towards the project in 2016. Support from partners helped cover start-up costs and keeps the prices affordable for locals. In May, Flint Fresh rolled out its veggie box delivery program, and it plans to add an additional mobile market serving 10-15 new sites to its weekly route–making an even greater impact on the community’s food needs.
“People are really appreciative,” said Bobby. “They are excited and want to know how to support us. I shop at the market too, so I’ve benefited from it as well.”