Article Contributed by Jamestown Renaissance Center
The Jamestown Mobile Market is celebrating the end of another successful season.
The mobile market, established in the summer of 2018, increased its programming over this year’s 16 week season.
Inspired by innovative food access programs across the country, the Jamestown Mobile Market was created to address the prevalent issue of food deserts facing the city of Jamestown. As defined by the USDA, food deserts are “parts of the country vapid of fresh fruit, vegetables, and other healthful whole foods, usually found in impoverished areas.” Jamestown is home to a large food desert, spanning from downtown Jamestown up to Jamestown Community College. These areas lack grocery stores, farm stands and other options for fresh produce purchase.
“A mobile market is a great way to challenge the barriers posed by food deserts,” says market manager Linnea Carlson. “By bringing fresh produce directly to neighborhoods, meeting residents where they are at, we increase the capacity of individuals and families to purchase healthy foods.”
Starting in early June and ending the last week of September, the
Jamestown Mobile Market visited a total of seven different site locations, visiting several each Wednesday. These sites included: The Salvation Army of Jamestown, The Gateway Center, Silvertree Seniors of Jamestown, Lutheran Jamestown, The Resource Center, Jamestown Community College, and C.V. Bush Elementary School.
Sites were chosen based on criteria established by market staff. Sites had to be located within the food desert area, service an at-risk population, and have a motivated staff willing to partner with the program. The variety of sites allowed the market to be available to area seniors, low-income residents, students, and youth and families.
A total of over 1,300 individual transactions were made at the mobile market. Produce options were priced at $1 per serving; individuals receiving SNAP, and JCC students received $2 off their total purchases.
” We are incredibly grateful to our community sponsors and partners for sustaining this program through 2019. The mobile market would not exist without their support.” Carlson states.
2019 sponsors included Colecraft Commerical Furnishings, of Jamestown; United Healthcare; Conduit Ministries; Farm Credit East; and Silvertree Seniors of Jamestown. Silvertree provided over 500 reusable tote bags
provided to customers. The mobile market also wishes to thank the JCC Foundation, Tree of Life Evangelical Lutheran Church, Rowen & Eden Photography, as well as the valuable market volunteers for their contributions.
Partner organizations Eat Smart WNY and Office of the Aging provided customers with healthy recipes, tastings, and free kitchen utensils, such as salad bowls and measuring cups. All produce left over at the end of each mobile market day was donated to either the Salvation Army food pantry or St. Susan’s Soup Kitchen.
Produce offered was purchased wholesale from local area farms Abers Acres of Kennedy, Hidden Valley Produce of Frewsburg, and Love Your Weeds of the Jamestown area. Produce items were seasonal, and over the course
of the summer included over 25 different varieties of fruits and vegetables.
Carlson states that for every dollar spent on local food, an estimated $2.29 is put into the local economy. The mobile market is a way to not only increase access to fresh foods, but also support hardworking family farms.
“It may seem simple, but there is power in fruits and vegetables. We love meeting our community, sharing something so universal, and creating a healthier city in the process!”
For more information on the Jamestown Mobile Market and how you or your organization can contribute towards the 2020 season, contact Linnea Carlson at 716-489-3497 or at linnea@ jamestownrenaissance.org.