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Minnesota nonprofit expands affordable grocery options with store on bus

Updated: March 06, 2020 06:24 PM

The Food Group and Amherst H. Wilder Foundation announced that the Twin Cities Mobile Market will become a program of The Food Group this month.

The Twin Cities Mobile Market is a grocery store on a bus that brings affordable foods directly to Twin Cities neighborhoods that don't have nearby grocery stores or food shelves. Some of the foods offered include fresh fruits, vegetables, meat, dairy and grains, according to a news release.

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"Everyone grocery shops, including people who visit food shelves," said Sophia Lenarz-Coy, executive director of The Food Group. "The need for nutritious food that is both affordable and accessible is growing. With Twin Cities Mobile Market, we've strengthened our innovative approach to fighting hunger and nourishing our community."

The Mobile Market began in 2014 as a program of the Wilder Foundation. Last year, the organization served 8,500 customers at 26 sites throughout St. Paul and Minneapolis. Of those customers served, 84% reported eating more fruits and vegetables, and 89% said they have greater access to healthy food. This 2019 customer survey was done by Melissa Horning, Ph.D. at the University of Minnesota School of Nursing. 

"Our customers are better able to choose the foods they want to feed their family," said Leah Porter, the founder of the Twin Cities Mobile Market. "The Food Group has a strong track record in affordable grocery with its program Fare for All. Together, we can be even more strategic and efficient as we grow."

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