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May 26, 2017
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SERVING SAINT LOUIS SINCE 1999
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The Scoop: Mobile grocery MetroMarket to bring fresh produce to North City neighborhoods

March 30th 03:03pm, 2015

 

033015_metromarket

 

Part farmers market, part food truck, The St. Louis MetroMarket is set to roll into North St. Louis communities in July. As reported by St. Louis Public Radio, the nonprofit aims to bring affordable, fresh produce, meat, dairy and more to St. Louis-area food deserts where nutritious food is not readily available.

Colin Dowling, Tej Azad and Jeremy Goss are spearheading the project with a $75,000 grant from Incarnate Word Foundation, and they’re beginning with the JeffVanderLou neighborhood. Goss said the community’s most recent grocery store closed in May 2014, and currently it subsists on three corner convenience stores.

Goss, Dowling and Azad partnered with Metro Transit – St. Louis, which donated a city bus to be retrofitted into a mobile food market. Seats and rails will be replaced with shelves and refrigerators, and beginning this summer, MetroMarket will open the door for business outside a community center and churches. The fresh produce, priced affordably, will also be eligible for SNAP and EBT benefits.

MetroMarket will source microgreens and fish from HOSCO Food, and it will source produce and more from St. Louis University’s department of nutrition and dietetics, which has granted MetroMarket access to same network of 65 local farms and 200 community gardens that source SLU’s some of its own dining options.

Goss also hopes to maintain access to fresh food during the week by working with those same corner convenience stores. “We’re approaching the corner stores that exist in these communities and building supplier relationships,” he said. (We want to) stock fruits and vegetables, match prices, make sure there are fresh fruits and vegetables throughout the week, and have impact beyond the time that The St. Louis MetroMarket can (physically) be in the community.”

Education and advocacy is also a key component of MetroMarket. SLU will host nutritional education sessions and cooking demos on market days. “Interns will provide demonstrations at the site when the bus is, so when we have the different produce, (the customers) will recognize it, taste it, know how to cook it, just get more familiar with it,” said Millie Mattfeldt-Beman, chair of the SLU department of nutrition and dietetics.

To offset operation costs, MetroMarket won’t sit idle during the week. Goss and his team will take the bus to corporate campuses, which can purchase memberships for their employees to buy the same market produce to help subsidize weekend sales.

 

 

By Rima Parikh

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2 Responses to “The Scoop: Mobile grocery MetroMarket to bring fresh produce to North City neighborhoods”

  1. Gibron Burchett Says:
    April 23rd, 2015 at 12:13 pm

    I am not sure who wrote this but we will not be selling micro greens to the mobile market. We will be providing a variety of leafy greens, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and more. It makes no sense to sell micro greens, which is a high end crop to people that can’t afford to buy regular produce in the store. Whomever wrote this should get the source from the people that are doing this.

  2. Gibron Burchett Says:
    April 23rd, 2015 at 12:16 pm

    Thank you kindly for the acknowledgement of the work we are doing however. ;)

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