Underserved areas marked by food insecurity will receive fresh fruit and vegetables thanks to Champaign-Urbana community partnership
A Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District bus stocked with fresh food from C-U area partners will start traveling to pre-determined locations twice a week in an effort to reduce food insecurity.
A partnership between Carle Health and the newly formed Champaign-Urbana City Farms will make it possible for residents of underserved communities to obtain fresh produce and fruits. The project began this week.
In the short term the Mobile Market will partner with established brick-and-mortar sites in the community alongside the Carle Mobile Health Clinic. The bus, donated by MTD, will travel on this schedule.
“Working with our urban farming partners, including Sola Gratia Farm and Prosperity Gardens, we’ll staff the market and distribute much-needed produce on a regular basis while developing and deepening relationships with individuals to learn more about their needs in terms of food, non-perishable items and job interests related to the food industry,” Rebecca McBride, founder and CEO of CU City Farms, said.
A recent Feeding America 2020 COVID study estimated that 15.7 percent of Champaign County residents currently have food insecurity.
The Mobile Market is funded in part by the Community Solutions Incubator, a program of the Community Foundation of East Central Illinois, and a Mayors Innovation/Healthy Babies Bright Futures grant awarded to the City of Champaign Township, one of only seven cities in the country to receive funding.