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Mobile produce market leaders discuss ways to better provide fresh food to underserved neighborhoods

Posted at 5:48 PM, Mar 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-05 17:48:54-05

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — A first-of-its-kind summit at the University of Buffalo united mobile produce market leaders from across the country, giving them an opportunity to network and learn from one another.

Mobile produce markets bring fresh foods to areas and neighborhoods that don't always have access to fresh fruits and vegetables.

"We take fresh food and put it on a truck and drive to areas that don't have great access to fresh food and we sell it to folks in that community," said Danielle Rovillo, Markets Director for Massachusetts Avenue Project.

The Massachusetts Avenue Project is a non-profit urban, farm and youth development organization that runs a mobile market right here in Buffalo.

Its aim is to promote food equity across the city.

"We believe food, fresh food, is a right, and eating healthy is a right. And that a lot of folks in the city just for one reason or another, don't have great access," said Rovillo. "It could be, you know, they're busy and they're working two jobs to get food on the table."

Or some people don't have a car, access to transportation, or there just might not be a grocery store near them.

Rovillo said the biggest challenge facing the mobile produce market is getting the word out.

"Communities that we serve aren't necessarily on the internet. A lot of senior citizens aren't on the internet, and you know, they're not looking up like, 'how can I find food in my neighborhood,' [it] isn't a thing you usually google," she said.

They end up having to go door to door to spread the word.

Rovillo said from June through November, they'll serve nine different neighborhoods for four days a week.