Mobile Market Delivers Fresh Fruits and Vegetables to Needy Neighborhoods

Hebni Nutrition Consultants announced the launch of its mobile farmers market—designed to deliver fresh fruits and vegetables to nutritionally starved neighborhoods—at a grand opening ceremony on December 5th in Orlando.  The innovative project is supported with funding from Florida Hospital’s Community Health Impact Council and the Winter Park Health Foundation (WPHF).

mobile farmers marketThe Mobile Farmers Market was created by refurbishing a city transit bus to serve as a traveling grocery store.  The Central Florida Regional Transportation Authority, LYNX, donated a retired bus to the project.

Called Fresh Stop, the mobile farmers market is set to operate five days per week travelling to the food deserts throughout Orange County making three to four stops per day.  It will also provide nutrition education to clients who will be purchasing local fruit and vegetables at market cost, and it will have Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) access for those customers who receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, formerly known as food stamps.

The project will be operated in the 16 communities with the highest levels of health disparities in Orange County, including Eatonville, and contain census tracts where at least 33% of the tract’s population has low access to a super market or large grocery store.

The target populations for Hebni’s services are minorities at risk for obesity, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and stroke.

Hebni has developed intervention programs and educational tools which address underserved populations who are at high risk for poor health outcomes.  Hebni has been working with underserved communities in Orange County for more than 18 years and has partnered with local churches, schools, community centers, local housing authority, city and county leaders, and local community-based organizations to bring culturally appropriate nutrition education to at-risk minority populations living in Eatonville and Winter Park neighborhoods.