CHICAGO — In Chicago, some people still don’t have access to fresh food or live anywhere near a grocery store. But one group is taking on food deserts in a whole new way.
Fresh Roberson, along with the Urban Growers Collective, has transformed three old CTA buses into Mobile Markets. Outfitted with fridges, bins and bags, these buses bring healthy and affordable produce to underserved parts of the city.
“Not only is it hard, especially in the communities we serve and the neighborhoods, to get fresh produce, but sometimes when they do have fresh produce, it doesn’t look the best and we want everyone to have access to really good quality fresh produce,” Roberson said.
The market brings healthy food, and the 11 acres it is farmed on in the city brings opportunity and training to the hundreds of kids and adults involved in Urban Growers Collective.
“Me being a black person from the ghetto, from Cabrini Green doing this type of work, is my passion and what I love,” said Malcolm Evans. He started with the program, formerly known as Growing Power, 16 years ago and today serves as farm manager.
“The urban farm or urban garden at that time was my safe zone,” he said. ‘Growing up, I always knew it was safe there. I knew there was a lot of love and care going on.”
From the garden to the Mobile Market to Chicago area tables the organization is changing lives.. This month urban growers collective celebrates its one year anniversary.. And the mobile market just served its 10-thousandth customer..