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Mobile food markets are rolling out across the country, bringing fresh fruits and vegetables into areas without full-service grocery stores near by. In Pittsburgh, however, no such mobile market exists—yet. Farm Truck Foods, a new mobile market serving areas around Pittsburgh, will begin selling produce this coming Spring.
With support from a $75,000 grant it received from the community development nonprofit Neighborhood Allies, Farm Truck Foods will buy a truck and retrofit it with refrigerators and other equipment. It will sell affordable and fresh produce, grains, dairy products, meat and some pre-packaged foods in a number of communities that lack healthy food access.
Shoppers will be able to buy items with cash, credit cards, debit cards and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.
Farm Truck Foods is working with community organizations to determine the needs of residents and also to incorporate a public education component that will include literature on nutrition and healthy cooking.
A locator device will be affixed to the truck to allow people to track it with a global positioning system. The truck’s monthly schedule will be posted on social media and the web, and on printed literature that community groups will distribute to residents, program leaders say.
The business will buy food from local farmers shortly before reselling it, so its retail costs will be lower than those of traditional grocery stores because no warehouse or delivery companies are involved.
The truck initially will run two or three days a week, but Farm Truck Foods hopes to increase the frequency and expand into other communities, leaders said in a news article.