One of the arguments people sometimes have about eating fresh fruits and vegetables is that they are expensive. Enter Garden on the Go™!
Every week, trucks stocked with everything from apples to zucchini make their way to 16 neighborhoods designated as “food deserts,” defined as “areas that lack access to affordable, healthy foods.” The trucks park at the same place on the same day and time every week. During the winter months, the trucks are unloaded and the produce sale is set up farmer’s market-style inside. Garden on the Go is funded by I.U. Health, which contracts with Green B.E.A.N. Delivery to manage the truck operatoins.
The neighborhood where I work is one of those food deserts. Despite the fact that there are plenty of restaurants to choose from, there are little to no options for fresh produce at reasonable prices. My first visit to the Garden on the Go truck — anyone can make purchases — was last summer. I climbed aboard the box truck and found it set up like a produce aisle at the store. From top to bottom, there were shelves and baskets of fresh fruits and veggies. Once I’d selected everything I wanted, I stepped out of the truck and took my place in line to pay for my purchases. Garden on the Go accepts cash, credit cards and food stamps.
How about quality? The fruits and vegetables I’ve bought from Garden on the Go has always been top notch. There are name brands, including Dole and Green Giant. The variety is bought from local and regional sources. And we’re not talking just a few buckets of apples and lettuce. At the sale yesterday, the selection included apples (individually sold, sometimes available in 3-lb. bags), bananas, red grapes, tangerines, navel oranges, pears, potatoes, sweet potatoes, tomatoes on the vine, scallions, jalapenos, green peppers, garlic, about five kinds of leafy greens, red onions, yellow onions and probably a few things I’m forgetting.
And the price? Pretty unbeatable. Yesterday, I bought:
- 2 pears
- 4 apples
- 1 head of iceberg lettuce
- 1 head of garlic (is that what it’s called?)
- 2-lb. bag of carrots
- 1 bunch of celery
- 2 avocados
- 1 yellow onion
My total cost: $7.95!
Garden on the Go makes stops on every side of town, including downtown. Click here to find a stop near you. Admittedly, the neighborhoods where the program exists maybe very different from your neighborhood. But if you are in search of good quality, fresh produce to help keep your family healthy that is very reasonably priced, it’s worth checking out.