Updated: Jul 24, 2013
By Bailey Deitz
The wheels are in motion for a new way for Quad Citians to get fresh, local foods. The Quad Cities Food Hub is in the running for a grant to help pay for a new "veggie mobile" that would bring produce right to area streets.
"The veggie mobile is actually one of our initial goals when the steering committee convened three years ago," said Carla Jaquet, President of the Quad Cities Food Hub. The Food Hub was one of nearly 100 initial applicants seeking grant money from The Wellmark Foundation geared toward healthier communities. The veggie mobile made the cut down to 17 contenders.
"We can get fresh, healthy food to individuals who wouldn't typically have the opportunity. Food deserts, the elderly," said Jaquet.
Some residents say they see a need for it throughout this area.
"I think it's a good idea, especially for elderly, people who can't get out or move around or don't have a vehicle," said Shelly Markin a local parent.
Food Hub members reached out to similar programs in Michigan and Vermont which report overwhelming success. Similar food vans go into places where nearby grocery stores are sparse or to low income neighborhoods giving easy access to healthy options. For the local program people would able to use Iowa EBT or Illinois Link cards to buy fruits, vegetables, local dairy and more. Also, education on preparing the foods will be a big part of the program.
It's also about making more connections between consumers and local produce growers and expanding on the farmers market so growers have more opportunities to sell their produce. Food Hub officials say if this grant doesn't come through the wheels will stay in motion to make this happen down the road.
We'll know mid-August if the veggie mobile concept wins the $42,000 it applied for. It's a matching grant so the Q.C. Food Hub would then need to find local partners to achieve the goal.
"Veggie Mobile" Could Come Rolling Into The Quad Cities