LEAP celebrates launch of New Mobile Market

LEAP is proud to announce the launch of their new Mobile Market, a 16’ box truck that will function as a “Farmers Market on Wheels” providing fresh, healthy, local food to residents of Roanoke neighborhoods that may otherwise lack easy access to fresh produce. The launch of the new Mobile Market vehicle took place Monday, May 15, from 4 to 6 pm at West End Station, 1210 Patterson Ave. SW, site of the West End Farmers Market and The Kitchen.

Students from James Madison University’s Industrial Design program helped design and retrofit the 16’ box truck into a fully-functional, integrated design that will enable LEAP to streamline the Mobile Market’s operations and serve even more of Roanoke’s neighborhoods. The past iteration of LEAP’s Mobile Market, an old church bus, was able to provide fresh produce to under-served neighborhoods in Roanoke for two seasons, despite limited functionality and capacity. The new and improved vehicle kicked off the Mobile Market’s third season, that started Tuesday, May 16 and runs thru the end of October.

During the 2017 season, the Mobile Market will make ten weekly stops throughout Roanoke. Like all LEAP markets, the Mobile Market accepts and doubles SNAP/EBT benefits (formerly ‘food stamps’), up to $30, and also accepts cash and debit cards. The Mobile Market also participates in LEAP’s other incentive programs, including a new Medicaid incentive program, incentives for seniors at select Roanoke Redevelopment and Housing Authority sites, TAP Head Start parents, and Healthy Roanoke Valley’s Fresh Food Rx program. All Mobile Market stops are open to the public.

The grand re-opening event will provide LEAP an opportunity to show off the functionality of the market, with limited produce for sale, and to thank the many individual, business, and community supporters who made the Mobile Market upgrade possible. Sponsors and community partners include Freedom First Credit Union, Goodwill Industries of the Valleys, James Madison University Industrial Design program, Good Food Good People, Carilion Clinic, CoLab, the West End Center for Youth, Wholesome Wave, and the Healthy Start collaborative, funded by United Way of the Roanoke Valley.

A schedule of weekly stops and other additional info about the Mobile Market can be found at LEAP’s website, http://leapforlocalfood.org/markets/leap-mobile-market/.