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New Treasure Coast Food Bank program brings food to low income communities

Posted at 6:21 PM, Mar 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-17 18:21:28-04

VERO BEACH, Fla. — Inside one in every seven Florida homes, people are unsure of where their next meal is coming from.

The Treasure Coast Food Bank is rolling out a new program getting healthy food, and more, into communities that need it most.

Look close, and it could be your neighborhood grocery store.

There are fresh vegetables piled high, and a refrigerated section with milk and meat products.

But when you back up, you discover it’s a grocery store on wheels.

Parked at the Boys and Girls Club in Vero Beach Wednesday, it’s one of two trucks that make up the “Market Fresh On The Move” program.

It will visit low income communities that lack access to fresh food.

“People should have access to affordable food even if they’re on food stamps,” said Treasure Coast Food Bank president Judy Cruz. She adds it helps residents overcome barriers like income, education, location, and competition from things like fast food.

We’re all familiar with food deserts, the truck can overcame that, they can go right into neighborhoods that do not have grocery stores or supermarkets. The education piece is where we can teach people how to prepare healthy foods quickly because everyone is in a time crunch.”

The truck is divided into two parts.

The other half is a mini kitchen, where students from the Food Banks’ Culinary Training Program can give demonstrations on how to cook healthy meals with the groceries just bought.

“So they can live a better life, so they can live better, get healthy,” said chef in training Christina Cook.

The two vehicles cost nearly a half million dollars.

Impact 100 was one of several community groups that raised the money.

“It transforms peoples abilities to feed themselves.. that’s just the basics that people need in our community,” said Gladys LaForge with Impact 100.

The two trucks could serve 200,000 nutritious meals in its first year.