One nonprofit in Toronto, Canada, is seeking to solve the problem of food deserts with a unique concept: mobile grocery stores.
“Food Desert” is a term coined by the USDA as any community where nutritious, fresh food is difficult to obtain – usually due to affordability, distance, or limited places to shop. These places can be urban or rural, and pose a massive risk to the health of a community. Access to healthy, whole foods is a key component to good health and well-being, and people who live in food deserts in impoverished areas have an exponentially higher risk of developing chronic diseases.
Well, the city of Toronto is seeking to fill in these food deserts once and for all. The city collaborated with FoodShare Toronto and United Way Toronto to renovate old buses and turn them into mobile food markets.
The project began in 2010. It’s called Mobile Good Food Markets, and these buses have now been traveling all over the Toronto metropolitan area selling affordable fresh food. They’re having a major impact on the health of local low-income neighborhoods. They sell everything from broccoli to lettuce to apples and onions, making their rounds to these neighborhoods twice a week. The price isn’t drastically lower than what one might find at a supermarket, since the buses need to be taken care of, but even the opportunity and choice to purchase nutrient-dense food is making a difference in the lives of local families.
This is the kind of practical help these communities need to get on their feet. Easy access to healthy food changes lives. Want proof? Check out more about this awesome project in the video below: