Pittsburgh is home to four major food deserts, each one encompassing the areas that house its most vulnerable citizens. Lack of financial resources combined with limited accessibility to fresh produce and an overage of accessibility to less healthy cheaper alternatives compound into the creation of an unhealthy lifestyle. This lack of access combined with a lack of food education ultimately turns this into a cyclical problem with no real end in sight.
Pangea plans on establishing a year round mobile farmers market. We would like to provide people access to fresh fruits and vegetables, year round, so that they may begin to break the cycle of unhealthy eating that has been developed due to the rise of fast and easy foods. We would like the opportunity to connect farms with urban markets that they would otherwise not have the ability to reach. With this kind of mobile platform we would be able to provide the ease of access that those outside of food deserts tend to take for granted. We would aim to save these people the time, energy, and overall cost associated with travel to an outside grocer. This also creates a new avenue for those in the community to interact in a positive way.
Registering with the Department of Agriculture we will be able to accept SNAP benefits from those already enrolled in the program, ensuring that everyone will be able to benefit from our service. As well as pairing with local community organizations to announce our neighborhood schedule, we will utilize social media platforms to allow folks to track us throughout the day. Ultimately we would like to offer an online registration where people in communities can pre-order & pre-pay for the food they want so they can simply pick up their order when we arrive in their neighborhood.
The impact that this concept can have would be immediately tangible to community members. The security of knowing that you won’t have to travel miles away from your home for fresh, affordable, healthy food is invaluable to all of us, but especially to areas who already deal with daily struggles that many people don’t even have to think about. We believe that this truck is a crucial first step in alleviating the food desert problem in Western Pennsylvania and beyond.