Mobile market delivers fresh produce to KC metro

By JOSHUA PHILLIPS
Northeast News
July 17, 2013

A donation from Kansas City Area Transportation Authority (KCATA) and help from Truman Medical Centers (TMC) and Hospital Hill Economic Development Corporation (HHEDC) is continuing to connect communities to fresh produce, including Historic Northeast.

KCATA donated a bus last summer to TMC so the bus could be converted into a mobile market that delivers fresh, healthy foods to communities in the Kansas City metro. The bus began traveling throughout the metro in July of 2012, offering produce at affordable prices. It started off with five stops, then increased to nine late last year, said Shane Kovac, media relations manager for TMC.

This summer, TMC is changing its weekly routes on Tuesdays and Thursdays due to the volume of customers. One new location is in Historic Northeast at the Mattie Rhodes Center, 148 N. Topping. Other new Kansas City locations include the Palestine Senior Center, 3325 Prospect Ave. and the Mexican Consulate,1617 Baltimore Ave.

“TMC is fully vested in the community by bringing healthy foods to the community and by being cost affordable,” said Jeannine Midgett, director of community outreach for TMC.

The weekly Tuesday routes will include the Jackson County Courthouse at 415 E. 12th St. from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.; the Mexican Consulate from 10:30 a.m. to noon; the Palestine Senior Center from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.; and the Mattie Rhodes Center from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

The weekly Thursday routes will include the Jackson County Courthouse Annex, 308 W. Kansas Ave., Independence, Mo., from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.; the Fairmount Community Center, 217 Cedar Ave., Independence, Mo., from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.; the Samuel U. Rodgers Center, 825 Euclid Ave., from noon to 2 p.m.; and at varying locations posted on TMC’s Facebook from 2:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.

“Anyone can shop at the stops,” Kovac said, adding that customers from outside the community may also shop at the mobile market.

Don Woodard and Michele Mitchell currently work for TMC in the mobile market bus. Woodard has six years of experience with TMC and said he enjoys working in the mobile market bus, where he drives, stocks and assists customers on the bus. Mitchell has worked for TMC since January of 2013 and has experience working in a grocery store setting.

“It is a different job and I wanted to do this to help people eat healthier,” Woodard said. “People won’t have health problems if they just eat healthier; it reduces the chances of getting a chronic illness and people can live a long and healthier life.”

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Bargain produce. Area residents check out the myriad deals at the mobile market. Photos by Joshua Phillips.

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