Some residents in Toronto will now be able to access fresh food thanks to an old retrofitted bus.
The Mobile Good Food Market launched in Toronto today as a means of providing accessible fresh food to those living in neighbourhoods with few food retail options. For example, the Lotherton neighbourhood in Toronto, said in a report that the closest food outlet is 1.7 km away. There’s an assumption that people have a car, she said.
An old Toronto Transit Commission public bus has been converted into the mobile grocery store that will travel across the city selling produce and other goods in neighbourhoods identified as lacking quality food options within an appropriate walking distance. Neighbourhoods were selected through consultation with local communities and analysis of access gaps.
The United Way, the City of Toronto, the Centre for Mental Health and Addictions, and Foodshare, a non-profit organization that aims to improve access to healthy food, all partnered together on the initiative.
Instead of donated food, every morning fresh produce will be purchased from the Ontario Food Terminal. As well, there is a variety of ethnic produce available to service the needs of the multicultural communities in Toronto. For example, there will be cassava, papaya and mangoes.
The mobile grocer will leverage FoodShare’s existing warehouse operations, along with its
18-year relationship with Super Select Produce Buyers at the Ontario Food Terminal. In turn, the Mobile Good Food Market will be able to sell fruits and vegetables at affordable prices.
Click here for the list of neighbourhoods the mobile grocery bus will service.