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Mobile Market Project expanding to more states

Posted at 5:51 AM, Jul 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-29 05:51:39-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — To get fresh produce many people immediately think about going to the grocery store around the corner. But what do people do if they don't have that access to fresh fruits and veggies?

That question is part of Dr. Lucia Leone's research at UB. She helped create the Mobile Market or Veggie Vans that brings fresh produce to food desserts in communities. She started her research in North Carolina and has expanded it to her home town in Buffalo. Dr. Leone just received a few million dollars from the Cancer Research Institute to keep expanding it into Massachusetts, Ohio, Long Island and North Carolina.

"We are really trying to develop community based interventions that increase access to healthy food and also improve opportunities for people to be more physically active," Dr. Leone said.

The Mobile Markets will go around Buffalo's East Side to not only provide affordable fruits and vegetables but researchers will also be there asking people questions about their diets and what they like and do not like about the mobile markets.

Dr. Leone says her main goal is to help improve people's diets and provide healthy options for people in food desserts.

"Diet is now starting to surpass tobacco as one of the biggest risk factors for chronic disease in our country," Dr. Leone said. "We know that eating healthy is important but doing it is a whole other story."

Neighbors happy to have access to delicious healthy foods.

"We like the local produce and we like the natural produce that's as close to organic as you're going to find," Sandy Campbell Hill said. "We appreciate the fact that they are right here in our neighborhood it's easy to come, easy to access."

Buffalo has two mobile markets -- The Massachusetts Avenue Project has one and Urban Fruits and Vegetable Farms has one. You can find the schedule of where the markets will be here.