8-Week Food Program To Launch In August

Produce available through the Jamestown Mobile Market is pictured. Submitted photo

The Jamestown Renaissance Corp. is launching an eight-week pilot program to bring healthy foods throughout the city with a mobile market.

“Thirty-seven percent of Jamestown residents live below the poverty line, and many of these individuals also lack transportation,” said Linnea Carlson, Jamestown Public Market manager. “Several community organizations work diligently each day to address issues of hunger in our communities, including food pantries and local farmers markets. What we noticed was a disconnect between the food needed and the food available. Fresh produce is hard to find, unless you travel to a large grocery store or local farm stands. A mobile market addresses all of these concerns while adding another layer of support to our community.”

The program is paid for through a grant the Jamestown Renaissance Corp. received from the U.S. Agriculture Department Farmers Market Promotion Program grant in October. The program is to be used to improve or expand direct producer to consumer market opportunities that benefit local farmers.

Carlson said the grant has helped the Jamestown Public Market expand its events this summer while increasing profits to farmers and other local agricultural producers. The grant also provides funding for the establishment of a mobile market.

Beginning Aug. 8, the Jamestown Mobile Market program will travel to various locations throughout the city, setting up ‘pop-up’ farmers markets. All produce available is locally sourced through farms that attend the Jamestown Public Market. Conduit Ministries is providing use of its food truck for produce transportation. Each mobile market stop will last 90 minutes, with three separate stops each Wednesday between August and October. August stops are from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at Tree of Life Lutheran Church, 556 E. Second St.; noon to 1:30 p.m. at Crestline Villa, 113 Anderson St.; and 2 to 3 p.m. at The Salvation Army, 83 S. Main St. September hours are 10 to 11:30 a.m. at the Tree of Life Lutheran Church, 556 E. Second St.; noon to 1:30 p.m. at the Gateway Center, 31 Water St.; and 2 to 3:30 p.m. at Crestline Villa, 113 Anderson St.

Produce will be available in traditional farmers’ market portions and priced at $1 per item. Free $5 coupons will be provided to the community through distribution at Conduit Ministries, the Salvation Army, St. Susan’s Soup Kitchen, Eat Smart NY, The Resource Center and Community Helping Hands during the weeks leading up to the program’s launch.

Community programs will attend various mobile market locations to provide services to customers. Individuals do not need proof of identification or income to receive items at the mobile market.

Sponsorship from United Healthcare allows the Jamestown Renaissance Corp. to provide incentives to the community that go directly toward the purchase of fresh produce. Individuals in need will be able to receive the free coupon weekly and utilize it to receive up to five servings of produce. Additional produce can be purchased at reduced cost or donation.

“This is an exciting program for our great city, and benefits all of us: local community organizations doing phenomenal work, our dedicated farmers, and most importantly our neighbors,” Carlson said.

A community kick-off event will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Aug. 1 at the Tree of Life Evangelical Church so the community can meet mobile market partners and learn more about the program. Refreshments will be provided.

For more information, call Carlson at 489-3497 or email linnea@jamestownrenaissance.org