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WTVC NewsChannel 9 :: News - Top Stories - Mobile Market Helps Residents in Food Deserts
Updated:
Wednesday, July 9 2014, 05:33 PM EDT
Mobile Market Helps Residents in Food Deserts
More than 74 percent of residents in Tennessee are not getting adequate daily portions of fruits and vegetables.  That's according to the Centers for Disease Control.

But, a group of local organizations are taking steps to make sure that people with little or no access to grocery stores get the healthy foods they need.

"I'm a diabetic, and I've had three strokes, and all of this junk stuff around here is not good for you," said Sandra Ratliff.

For Sandra Ratliff, loading up her basket of fresh produce Tuesday at the Mobile Market is how she shops and gets her weekly dose of healthy foods.  The nearest grocery store is almost two and a half miles away from her home - a 45 minute walk.

"If I don't have bus fare then I have to walk, I use my buggy and I go the grocery store then come on back home," said Ratliff.

For the past two years, the food truck has been making stops in 11 Chattanooga neighborhoods.

Ratliff is one of more than 71 thousand people in Hamilton County who live in a food desert - meaning she has little or no access to a large grocery store.  That's about 21 percent of the Hamilton County population.

"They'll have to catch a bus, ride a bus for 3-hours, just to get 2 armfuls of groceries when you're 86 and you can't do that when it's 95 degrees outside so it helps a lot," said Tara Williams, who works for the Mobile Market.

Food deserts are mostly in low-income neighborhoods where healthy food options are scarce.

Diondra Pointer lives in Fort Oglethorpe and crosses the state-line every week to buy food from the Mobile Market.

"They have greens, they have your green vegetables, they have your red vegetables, and things that can lower cholesterol and keep high blood pressure down," said Pointer.

And besides healthy eating and a convenient way of getting her groceries, Sandra Ratliff says the food truck has been good for one more thing. 

"I've lost about 100 pounds," said Ratliff.

The Mobile Market does take food stamps.  The Mobile Market makes stops in areas on Monday - Thursday.
 
To find out where you can find the Mobile Market around town, CLICK HERE.

By Jerry AskinMobile Market Helps Residents in Food Deserts

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