Many people visit farmer’s markets to buy fresh, locally-produced foods. A mobile market run by Salt Lake City is aiming to expand access to healthy produce.
At Sherwood Park on Salt Lake City’s west side, kids are eating a free summer lunch. A big, painted bus is parked nearby.
The Green Urban Lunchbox is a graffiti-covered school bus repurposed as a mobile farmer’s market. It stops by parks and community centers in the Glendale and Poplar Grove neighborhoods each weekday to sell affordable, organic produce. Kari Gillen is the market director.
“Our fruits are either 50 cents or $1 a pound. Nothing is more than $1 each for a pound,” Gillen says.
The market visits west side locations because residents of these neighborhoods have less access to fresh fruits and vegetables, says Bridget Stuchly with Salt Lake City’s sustainability department.
Stuchly says lower consumption of fruits and veggies leads to higher rates of diet-related diseases like diabetes.
“Trying to find opportunities where we can make fruits and vegetables more accessible and affordable is a great way to start decreasing those impacts in the neighborhood,” Stuchly says.
The Urban Greens Market has partnered with local charities to not only accept food stamps, but match them. A customer can buy $20 of produce for only $10 of food stamps.