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Groups planning farmers' market on wheels for Mattapan

Pedal-powered veggies

It works for ice cream, why not for fresh veggies? A group of "social entrepreneurs" is working on a "kinetically powered mobile farm stand," to bring fresh food into the parts of Mattapan without easy access to more stationary food sources.

BRACE, whose directors include Boston-area architects, planners and engineers, is trying to raise $7,743 to build its pedal-powered veggie delivery system. It's working with the Mattapan Food and Fitness Coalition (MFFC) and Brookwood Community Farm, which raises organic fruits and vegetables on farms in Canton and Milton.

In a 2005 study, national research institute PolicyLink discovered that wealthy neighborhoods have three times the number of grocery stores found in low‐income neighborhoods, creating an alarming phenomenon popularly known as "food deserts." Unsurprisingly, levels of health and nutrition are drastically lower in these communities where residents must rely on convenience stores or fast food restaurants, rather than traditional grocery stores or farmers’ markets. ...

As well as providing sustenance to communities in need, the mobile farm stand aims to create a fun and educational dialogue about local agriculture and healthy eating.

We hope that by designing an eye-catching and petroleum-free stand that can visit various locations in one day according to pedestrian flow, we can help provide more consistent food access to residents and a more sustainable business model for farmers looking to sell in low-density, low-income areas.

Via Oishii Eats.

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Somerville does something similar, albeit with a truck: https://www.facebook.com/SomervilleMobileFarmersMarket.

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kinetically powered mobile farm stand,

Now you know the kind of knuckleheads you're dealing with.

wealthy neighborhoods have three times the number of grocery stores found in low‐income neighborhoods

Beacon Hill - crawling with supermarkets. Dover? Supermarket on every corner.

We hope that by designing an eye-catching and petroleum-free stand

What the hell does 'petroleum-free' have to do with groceries? These people have more agendas than Carter has little liver pills, and they obviously feel perfectly free inflicting them on poor and working poor people.

It's working with the Mattapan Food and Fitness Coalition (MFFC) and Brookwood Community Farm, which raises organic fruits and vegetables on farms in Canton and Milton.

More inflicting agendas on the poor. Tens of millions of people have lived to a ripe old age eating canned veggies and standard, non-organic produce. But it's been decided by their betters that poor people need Whole Foods to live until tomorrow.

You can truck in carrots and broccoli from Arizona for less money than it costs to raise them in a little garden next door 'organically.' This has been shown in published, peer reviewed literature. I can only assume that in this case, they're essentially donating the produce to the program. If so, why not just say so?

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There's more to food than life expectancy and low prices.

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“We want to make it easier to access healthy nutritious food and make it easier, more affordable and fresh,” said Vivian Morris, chairperson of the Mattapan Food and Fitness Coalition. “On multiple levels it’s a plus for Mattapan. We want to make eating vegetables exciting and accessible.”

The project is still in the works, but the neighborhood is getting excited and Morris said the group is already working on stops for the market, including the Foley Senior Residences on River Street and the Mattapan Square MBTA station.

"This stand will really have three big benefits: visibility, affordability, and employment,” said Morris.

The mobile stand, like traditional farmers’ markets, will accept Bounty Bucks, WIC, and EBT benefits and will be run by a crew of two local youth.

From boston.com/mattapan

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Not for nothing, but if there is profit to be made, business will open shop. Problem with an area like Mattapan is the insurance costs are high due to theft and vandalism. It wipes out any profit on low margin items like produce.

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Wouldn't it be more convenient if they opened, like, a store?

How are you supposed to track down this bicycle every time you need to buy some vegetables? It would make more sense if they opened a greengrocer's shop in a neighborhood storefront.

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The Somerville truck, mentioned earlier, has regularly scheduled weekly stops at various places around the city. I expect the Mattapan bike will operate similarly.

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In Baltimore MD there were all sorts of Arabbers carting their veg around the city. Idea would probably never fly in Boston cause of the carts being horse drawn. But, how cool would that be!

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Mattapan is hardly a 'food desert'. Between (mars) Farmers Market, Shaws, smaller retail shops, and the mobile trucks that sell fruit/veg, the fair foods people, not to mention all of the farmers markets in Dorchester it seems like 'food desert' is a stretch. I'm all for increasing access to food but lets be serious here.

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