Mobile Market Brings Fresh Produce To Tulsa Food Deserts

Monday, April 16th 2018, 7:24 pm
By: News On 6

A new program is bringing fresh produce to people living in Tulsa's food deserts. The initiative is just another plan designed to help Tulsans make healthier choices.

The concept takes an already mobile grocery store, sets up a produce stand inside a convenience store and gives people another option for choosing fruits and veggies instead of junk.

Scott Smith of R&G Family Grocers is packing up items and getting ready to move to the next location.

You've probably seen this mobile market before around Tulsa. It's part of the Healthy Community Store initiative, a non-profit.

They partner with TSET's Healthy Living Program and recently launched a new way to get fruits and veggies to more Tulsans who live in a food desert.

"Our idea was, let’s see what we can do to take our model and further get perishable goods into those stores at a low risk for the owner of the store," Smith said.

Tucked right across from the powdered donuts and packaged cupcakes, the mobile market stocks a produce stand at the Tulsa Food Mart on Southwest Boulevard.

The display offers locally grown produce at low prices to help people make better, healthier choices.

Right now, this is only one of two healthy living markets inside convenience stores, but organizers said this is just the beginning.

"We hope to be in every privately owned, small convenience store in a food desert area in Tulsa within three years," Smith said.

He said the demand for healthy food is already there.

"People want to eat well," Smith said. "Our biggest complaint is that we're not able to come frequently enough to a stop near those customers."

The second mini market location is at a convenience store at Jackson and 23rd, but the group hopes to set up another location at 36th Street North very soon.