On July 18 Cultivating Community and its partner the St. Mary's Nutrition Center, both of Maine, launched the second season of the Good Food Bus, a mobile food market featuring locally sourced fruits, vegetables, eggs, and bread; favorite items "from away" such as citrus; and $10 anchor meals in a bag that include a recipe and all the ingredients needed to make a simple, healthy, delicious meal--the first week the anchor meal was spinach and garlic pizza.
The goals of the Good Food Bus are to make healthy food more accessible to people who need it; to bring shoppers of all backgrounds together at vibrant retail sites; and to create a new high-volume market for local farmers. $400 worth of produce was sold in the first 45 minutes at the first bus stop this past Tuesday.
So far the Good Food Bus is touching down on 14 stops in three Maine counties. All are welcome and shoppers may use cash, credit, SNAP/EBT, and WIC. Customers who use SNAP and WIC receive bonus fruits and vegetables at the Bus, thanks to the Maine Harvest Bucks program.
The Good Food Bus is a partnership among Cultivating Community, the St. Mary's Nutrition Center, and Harvard Pilgrim HealthCare Foundation.
Lesley Heiser has published in Boulevard, Puerto del Sol, Ms., and the Baltimore Sun. She's on staff at Cultivating Community and is a member of the Network Leadership Institute and the Network Team of Food Solutions New England.