“We believe that everyone in our society has a right to affordable healthy food.”
This is a part of the FoodShare Toronto’s mission statement. Low-income families often have limited access to fresh, nutrient-dense produce. In Canada, a collaboration between FoodShare Toronto, the city of Toronto, and United Way Toronto have paved the way to a solution: Mobile Good Food Markets.
Old city buses have been converted into mobile grocery stores. The buses visit low-income areas twice a week.
Frequently people in these areas do not own cars. There are several residential areas in the city which are only easily navigated with an automobile – and transit can be pricey. The commute to grocery stores by foot are too far and the walk back with groceries is even worse.
Thanks to mobile markets, families can buy food which they previously didn’t have access to. Because the mobile market eliminates the commute and provides healthy affordable food, families aren’t forced to eat fast food.
“If we’re able to create a more diverse and dynamic food system not only will there be benefits for the health of the population but also for there will be economic opportunities,” said Dr. David McKeown Medical Office Of Health, City of Toronto.
The social aspect of the mobile market helps to build a strong farmers-market kind of community. Families making and eating at home together have numerous social advantages too.
“Making time for a daily family meal has a positive impact on eating habits and family dynamics, especially for adolescents. Ms. Wood says studies show that children are more likely to have a strong family bond and do well in school and are less likely to abuse alcohol or drugs when they share their time with their parents,” said Registered dietitian Sarah Wood of Mosaic Life Care.
FoodShare’s ultimate goal is to end hunger, build healthier communities, and to spread non-profit food distribution mechanisms.
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Featured image via screengrab