Organizers to help Sacramento food deserts with mobile farmers market

Local News

WEST SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — Come July, there will be a new farmers market in West Sacramento. 

Only this time, it will be on wheels and will go directly to the people who need it most. 

Center for Land-Based Learning CEO Mary Kimball and her team just got a shiny new present from up north. 

“We ordered it in November of 2019 and it literally just arrived yesterday all the way from Canada!” Kimball told FOX40. 

Kimball said for six years, the CLBL has been working up to rolling out their mobile farmers market program, but only recently was it delayed because of COVID-19.

“We know that, absolutely, food is a critical piece in everything, from obesity to Type 2 diabetes to all kinds of other co-morbidity stats,” she said. “And especially now with COVID and knowing that those are the people with the most difficulty with COVID.”

Kimball’s team, along with the West Sacramento Urban Farm Program, is ready to stock up on produce and ice to get the mobile farmers market on the road. 

The truck has five battery-operated refrigerators, a sink and enough storage to pack hundreds of pounds of fresh produce. 

“To get this this fresh healthy produce from the farm to those who need it the most, which is going to be some low-income housing facilities in Sacramento,” Kimball said. 

Even though Sacramento is quickly becoming a farm-to-fork haven in Northern California, Kimball said there are areas that are considered to be food deserts. 

“You do not have access even to food at all within a 10- to 15-minute walk,” Kimball explained. “And so we’re targeting areas that are in that situation, as well as areas that have a high senior population, and again have a difficult time getting out even to get groceries at all.”

The plan is to do a pilot test from July to October, two days a week during certain hours of the day with fresh produce. 

“The other piece about that is really exciting is people can use their CalFresh and EBT cards to purchase, and they’ll be able to use what is called Bonus Bucks,” Kimball said. 

According to Kimball, not only will it help those battling food insecurity, it will help local farmers sell their produce as well. 

“We have land here at the Maples in Woodland that they can lease from us and they can get started on their own farm businesses,” Kimball said. “The same thing with our farmers in West Sacramento.” 

It makes for an exciting win-win situation for those with a green thumb and those who already enjoy the farmers market.

The CLBL’s mobile farmers market truck was purchased with the help of sponsors. The Farmers’ Truck organization, which they acquired it from, currently has a grant program for other organizations in California’s Central Valley to apply for and get more trucks like this.

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