Fresh Produce Bus to Make Stops in Chicago’s Food Deserts

April 18, 2011  |  

(Chicago Tribune) — In Steven Casey’s Englewood neighborhood, milk and eggs, bread and bologna are easy to find.  “In the ‘hood, you can get meat all day long,” he said. “It may not be good meat, but it’s there.”  What’s more difficult to find, Casey said, are what his family and neighbors need so desperately: fresh bananas, apples, spinach, broccoli, kale and other fruits and vegetables that could improve their health.  Shortly after a 2006 study labeled his community a food desert, Casey and a group of self-proclaimed food activists started working to correct that inequity.  Next month, their new grass-roots organization, Food Desert Action, will unveil a solution to the healthy food crisis — a renovated CTA bus transformed into a mobile produce stand.  The concept is simple, Casey said. If residents in poor neighborhoods can’t make it to stores that carry healthy food, the Fresh Moves bus will bring produce to them.  “Eventually, we want to be just like the ice cream truck,” Casey said. “Everyone remembers the music, they hear it and they know ice cream is there. When they see our bus, we want them to know fresh fruits and vegetables are here.”

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