Fresh Truck is now a program well beyond the farmer’s market on wheels concept that began in 2013.
The idea is the brainchild of Executive Director Josh Trautwein who co-founded Fresh Truck with Annika Morgan, Chief Program Officer.
Trautwein was working as a nutrition education coordinator at MGH Charlestown Healthcare Center where he heard from patients and families how difficult it was to find fresh food. Soon after, the last grocery store in the neighborhood closed. Bringing food to the people seemed the most important factor in educating them about nutritional education, and health.
In 2017, Fresh Truck makes 11 stops around Boston and surrounding areas, twice a week. They also coordinate grocery deliveries to schools, hospitals and offices. Their popup events concentrate on schools and medical facilities to ensure as much access as possible to those in need, while providing education about nutrition and the role of fresh produce in health.
From their site:
“Fresh Truck is on a mission to radically impact community health by getting food to people that need it the most.”
Fresh produce improves health. It’s been shown over and over, yet access to fresh fruit and vegetables, especially in cities is sometimes out of reach for many. Food deserts are a problem all over the United States, and where they exist, there is a marked increase in diabetes, obesity and depression. Findings published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics identified “significant links between depression, poor dietary quality, and high body mass index (BMI).” Identification of food deserts, and food insecurity is vital to a community’s health and future.
Fresh Truck has always been partnered with health organizations and continues to look at it’s model as a way to deliver self sustaining health through food. Their FreshRx program, started in 2015 partners with health organizations to provide $10 “Rx” cards for people to redeem for fresh produce, and in doing so report back to doctors about how many cards are used. Nutrition is thus a fundamental part of the doctor, patient conversation and far beyond a doctor telling a patient to “eat better.”
To get a sense for the energy and excitement around the program, see the video from their year of launch. Since launch, the excitement around Fresh Truck has only increased, and communities warmly welcome to their neighborhoods.
Image provided by Fresh Truck