Mobile Van Tackling City’s Urban Food Deserts

Shown on the truck is attendant Charles Allen assisting Avery Castleton with their selection of food
Feeding Northeast Florida FNEFL recently launched its second Corner Market mobile pantry, which will provide healthy food and nutritional guidance to families across Jacksonville’s Northwest Quadrant in an effort to mitigate food deserts.
The mobile pantry, which will operate as part of FNEFL’s Corner Market program, was funded through a $200,000 contribution from the City of Jacksonville to assist in the purchase of a truck and a mobile market. The contribution came from the Food Desert funding within the City’s Northwest Economic Development Fund.
This program allows FNEFL to expand and strengthen its offerings within communities most impacted by nutrition-based diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and stroke, including operating a prescriptive nutrition program that teaches the value of nutrition as a way to promote health.
The market will serve individuals and families at a street-by-street level, providing an innovative way for clients to personally shop for the items they need or prefer. Over time, shoppers will be able to track the health of individuals who utilize prescriptive health guidance services — providing a comprehensive analysis of the program’s impact.

Food insecurity affects approximately one in six adults and one in four school-aged children in Northeast Florida. With the additional challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for food resources has nearly doubled in the span of a year. This mobile market aims to help meet that need by providing individualized food services to families in our community with a sense of dignity and the guidance to make healthier choices.

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