Vancouver Food Bank’s social enterprise – Curbside Fresh Market is now in its fourth season. The mobile market delivers affordable, fresh, local produce to low-income, high-density communities throughout Vancouver. These locations are set up in food deserts, a term that identifies areas that have limited access to affordable fresh fruits and vegetables, throughout the growing season.
Access and affordability are the top two barriers to a healthier diet that includes regular servings of fresh fruits and vegetables. Rising rates of diet-related illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease, and obesity are drawing new attention to the importance of fresh, unprocessed foods as part of a healthy diet. Markets such as Curbside Fresh is one way to increase access to nutritious food at affordable prices.
The Curbside Fresh Market is also a wonderful collaboration with local growers. Through its relationships with local growers, the Greater Vancouver Food Bank already distributes over 860,000 lbs of fresh produce to its members during the growing season.
The Greater Vancouver Food Bank is committed to new initiatives like the Curbside Fresh Market that help realize its vision of accessible, healthy and sustainable food for all. Look for the Curbside Fresh Market in the following communities starting mid-June:
- Tuesdays: Gordon Neighbourhood House from 3pm to 6pm
- Wednesdays: South Granville Seniors Centre from 11am to 2pm
- Wednesdays: Mt Pleasant Neighbourhood House from 3pm to 6pm
- Thursdays: Collingwood Neighbourhood House from 3pm to 6pm
- Fridays: City Heights from 11am – 1:30pm
- Fridays: Mt Pleasant Community Centre from 3pm to 6pm
I stopped by the Mt. Pleasant Community Centre after work before heading home and grabbed a few items for our dinner. From the selection of in-season, locally-sourced fruits and veggies, I grabbed some cherries, zucchini and black kale. The prices were low and the produce was definitely fresh.
Personally, I find it great that the Vancouver Food Bank is finding ways to reduce barriers since sometimes we do forget access to fruits and vegetables can be tough for those on a lower income. It helps draws attention to the importance of unprocessed foods as part of a healthy diet.