Mobile Market brings fresh, locally-grown food to DC area - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Mobile Market brings fresh, locally-grown food to DC area

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WASHINGTON -

It's an old school bus, painted green, and now called a "Mobile Market." Inside are coolers and some freezers. Outside, under an awning, is a fresh fruit-and-vegetable market.

Five days a week, in the warmer months, the Mobile Market rolls into area neighborhoods where there are a paucity of supermarkets, to make it easier for residents to buy fresh (and locally grown) foods.

Jessica Damille, holding her 8-month-old baby, purchased apples and spring onions when the Mobile Market set up shop in D.C.'s Deanwood neighborhood on Friday.

The Mobile Market is run by a local non-profit called the Arcadia Center for Sustainable Food and Agriculture. Arcadia raises some of its own vegetables on an acre at the Woodlawn Plantation in Fairfax County. They also produce eggs there.

The rest of the food is bought from farmers in Loudoun and Calvert Counties, and from farmers in West Virginia and Pennsylvania.

Why is Arcadia bringing a fresh food stand to so-called "food deserts?” There are several reasons according to employee Juju Harris: "You're helping the environment because we don't have to bring the food as far ... Virginia is closer than California ... We [also] have the problem with obesity in the black community. There are problems with high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol -- they're the main killers ... the sooner you start eating healthier, the sooner you'll start feeling better."

To tempt low-income residents to buy more fresh foods, Arcadia offers to double the benefits for federal food assistance programs like SNAP or WIC. In other words, if there's $10 on your account, the Mobile Market will give you $20 worth of food.

The Mobile Market moves to different neighborhoods five days a week. For an itinerary, you can check the non-profit's website: http://arcadiafood.org/programs/mobile-market


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