This past weekend Baby G and I finally made it out to the Mobile Food Market. It’s been running since mid-April and I have been trying to go for months but keep missing it due to extended travel or other events on the same day.
Anyway, we got there and, guys, can we talk about affordable food?
I got four tomatoes, a package of mushrooms, a bag of multi-colored heirloom carrots, a sizable piece of ginger root all for four dollars and some change!
The Mobile Food Market (MFM) is a 21-week pilot project funded and run by Partners for Care, Nova Scotia Public Health, the Mayor’s Office and the Ecology Action Centre. The “market” is a city transit bus that has plastic bins inside containing produce. The bus visits six communities in total – three one Saturday and then another three on alternating Saturdays. These communities have been identified as having limited access to healthy food- namely, fresh fruits and vegetables. The food is sourced from the local Superstore and from a local farm. On the ground, the people who get the market going are the mobile food market coordinator ( paid position) and several volunteers from the community. You can read more about the project’s background in a post I wrote earlier: Mobile Food Market Coming this Spring.
I must say that I don’t personally feel like I live in a food desert. I can walk to the nearest Superstore in about 10 or 15 minutes. In the opposite direction is a Sobeys though it would take much longer to walk there. Thankfully, there is reliable transportation. That aside, I can see how affordability is a bigger issue for my neighborhood. So, considering that factor, I am in support of this initiative.
So what did we find when we go to our market site?
Overall the atmosphere was easy -going and friendly and the committee seemed to have a smooth system in place. There was even a tent for people to sit under while they waited for their turn to go on the bus and a worker from the Halifax Public Libraries was there to supply free wifi.
I was glad to see an evaluation box on the table I’m wondering if they have this at the other sites as well. Remember, each site is run by community organizations who agreed to “host” the market- choosing a location, finding volunteers, soliciting feedback etc. They have the freedom to set up how they want and may not have all the same features, like a feedback box. I heard that they had craft vendors set up at one location. I like that. It’s a means for people to promote their small businesses and just create and continue community.
I plan to stop in again next market day which will be Saturday, August 27th for me. In addition to maybe picking up a few things I need, I am really interested in getting to know my neighbors. If you are located in one of the MFM locations, I’d encourage you to stop in. Even if you’re not trying to buy anything still come. See how it is working, if you think it’s a benefit to you or those around you.