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Food on the Move Mobile Markets at the PHA

On Thursday, September 6th, the Providence Housing Authority (PHA) joined with community partners to host a community breakfast celebrating the Food on the Move program. The event featured a healthy assortment of fresh fruits, pastries, and quiches and a brief speaking program, after which the mobile produce market was open for shoppers to enjoy the wide variety of fruits and vegetables on sale.

A Community Breakfast and Celebration

Mr. James Spikes, a Dexter Manor Resident, sharing the benefits of the Food on the Move market with the crowd. For him, and his family, the weekly markets are a valuable source of fresh produce.

The event was a celebration of the partners, staff and residents at Dexter Manor who all work together to create food stability and a successful marketplace for the Food on the Move program.  The brief speaking program highlighted the benefits of the marketplace for all it serves, not just those at Dexter Manor.  Speakers included:

Read more coverage of the event from Convergence RI: http://newsletter.convergenceri.com/stories/shopping-for-fresh-fruits-and-vegetables-as-a-community-building-exercise.

What is Food on the Move?

Food on the Move is a mobile produce market that provides access to fresh fruits and vegetables across the State.  They have been partnered with the Providence Housing Authority for several years to connect low-income residents at PHA developments to affordable, healthy food options.

An offspring of the Rhode Island Public Health Institute, the mobile market was designed to address food access in communities across the state where cost, location, and quality of produce were barriers to eating healthy foods.  It is estimated that 13% of Rhode Islanders lack access to healthy foods, and in low-income communities, that number more than doubles to 30%.  Fresh produce is often costly, hard to get to, or not culturally relevant but Food on the Move address those barriers by bringing produce directly into low-income communities.

When does Food on the Move come to the PHA?

Location Address Day Time
Dexter Manor 100 Broad St. Providence Thursdays 9:30 – 11:00 AM
Dominica Manor 100 Atwells Ave. Providence Wednesdays 9:00 – 10:30 AM
Carroll Tower 243 Smith St. Providence Wednesdays 4:00 – 5:30 PM
Parenti Villa 20 Tobey St. Providence Thursdays 4:30 – 6:00 PM

The market days and times change dependent on the season, so the PHA recommends checking the Food on the Move Facebook page (@FoodontheMoveRI) for the most up-to-date calendar of events.

Are there any special incentives to shop at Food on the Move?

Food on the Move doubles the value of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits at the mobile market. For every $1 spent on fruits and vegetables, another $1 gift card will be given to customers to buy more. Matched with already affordable prices and high quality produce, the Food on the Move markets are an amazing value-add to the community.  And if you live in one of the four PHA developments listed above, you can access them right at your doorstep!

The Food on the Move mobile markets accept cash, credit/debit, and SNAP/EBT benefits.

What are the benefits to eating fresh fruits and vegetables?

The National Institute of Health has funded two clinical trials looking at mobile markets, like Food on the Move, and has discovered that shoppers increase their fruit/vegetable consumption by 1/2 to 2/3 a cup per day.  Those who eat more fruits and vegetables as part of their healthy diet are less likely to suffer from chronic diseases such as diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and stroke, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).  In addition to hosting their current markets, the RI Public Health Institute will soon begin to look at reduced health care costs and health improvements as part of its work to justify the markets success and to help sustain the markets over time.  To learn more about the health benefits of specific fruits and vegetables or how to plan a healthy diet, visit www.ChooseMyPlate.gov.

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