A collaboration between numerous groups, including the Barren River District Health Department and the Community Farmers Market, will bring a mobile farmer’s market to an area that has been identified as a food desert.
“Food deserts are areas where people have a lack of access to fresh fruits and vegetables,” said Crissy Rowland, public health services manager for the health department.
For now, the mobile market will be set up under tents in the health department’s parking lot at 1109 State St. from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday.
Anybody can purchase the produce that will be for sale, but there will be special benefits for customers using senior nutrition vouchers, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and Women, Infants, and Children Farmer’s Market vouchers.
“They can spend up to $20 and get $40 worth of food that day,” Rowland said.
Rowland hopes that clients visiting the health department will also shop for fresh local fruits and vegetables at the market. But anyone who works downtown or happens to be downtown is also welcome.
Increasing access to fresh, local foods is one of the goals of a subcommittee of the Barren River District Health Council, which has the ultimate goal of improving the health of the area.
“This is a test location for (the collaboration),” Rowland said. “They have been testing it in other areas of town, but we hope that this will be a permanent location for them. We are really excited about this.”
Western Kentucky University and the Community Farmers Market received a grant to start the program, which will eventually include the launch of a mobile food truck in spring 2014, she said.
Vendors planning to be at the mobile market include: Bespoke Granola, Esters Farm Baked Goods, Jackson’s Orchard & Nursery, R & M Farm (accepts WIC and Senior), Garich Family Farms, Stoney Creek Farm, Crooked Creek Farm (accepts WIC and Senior), Dimplefoods Jams & Jellies, River Cottage Farms, Meltdown Ice Cream, Need More Acres (accepts WIC and Senior) and Plano Produce. All vendors will accept SNAP.
Other sponsors of the event include Rustic Nail & Co., BabyNet KY and Kentuckians for the Commonwealth.