Old bus becomes mobile farmers’ market for South, West side food deserts

(CHICAGO) An out-of-service transit bus, fully stocked with affordable fresh fruits and vegetables, will be traveling to food desert communities on the South and West sides to bring healthy food to underserved areas.

Mayor Emanuel and Growing Power, a “leader of the Good Food Movement and model of sustainable urban farming,” recently announced the launch of Fresh Moves Mobile Markets, according to a statement from the Mayor’s office.

“Over the last few years, we have decreased the number of low-income Chicagoans without access to fresh fruits and vegetables by 40 percent, and this new innovative program will bring healthy options to more neighborhoods across the city,” Emanuel said in the statement.

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An out-of-service bus will be retrofitted to serve as a mobile market, making stops throughout the week at sites including schools, health clinics and community centers, offering locally-sourced fresh produce, the statement said. Residents will be able to use SNAP at the markets.

The city Department of Fleet and Faculty Management will provide fuel and maintenance for the bus during the first year of the program.

Mobile Markets will run year-round and will stop at several locations each week. including.

—Tuesdays at TCA Health at 1029 E. 130th St.; and Our Lady of Guadalupe Church–The Claretian Initiative at 9108 S. Brandon;

—Wednesdays:at TCA Health at 1106 E. 79th St.; Wells Preparatory Elementary Academy at 239 E. 32nd St.; and Centers for New Horizons’ James Pitts Center at 226 E. 43rd St.;

—Thursdays at TCA Health, 1803 E. 71st St.; Renaissance Collaborative Senior Village at 346 E. 53rd St.; and KLEO Center at 119 E. Garfield Blvd.;

—Saturdays at CHA—Dearborn Homes at 2960 S. Federal St; Neighborhood Housing Services at 3601 W. Chicago Ave.;
Beth Anne Place/Bethel New Life at 1143 No. Lavergne Ave. and the So Fresh Saturdays Touring Farmers Market at various sites; and

—Sundays at IMAN Market at 2744 W. 63rd St.