New Curbside Produce Program for Rochester’s Food Deserts

The popularity of food trucks in our urban centers is no secret. Foodlink, which operates a large food bank and several food programs in Rochester, New York, has taken the food truck concept one step further with its Curbside Market program aimed at providing easy access to fresh produce in city neighborhoods that suffer from a lack of healthy food options.

During the months of July, August, and September, the 18-foot Curbside Market truck will sell its wares, at wholesale prices, during 45-minute stops at public housing developments, after school programs, and health centers throughout the city. This program supplements Foodlink’s existing urban farm stand program in that it brings produce to seniors and the disabled who are unable to travel to the farm stands and makes healthy snack options directly available to children. Nutritionists will also be on hand at each of the sites to instruct people on the health benefits of produce and offer cooking tips.

Corner stores are notorious for their unhealthy food selections, but unfortunately they are the only accessible shopping option for many people. The Curbside Market program aims to change that. I hope that, in particular, it will make a sizable difference in the lives of children by providing them with access to healthy food choices. Children can’t succeed in school and free themselves from the inner city poverty cycle if they’re hungry.

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