Cone Health, Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwestern North Carolina, and the Greensboro Police Department are working together to increase access to healthy food in the city of Gate.
Greensboro – Good health isn’t just about vital signs checks, medications or surgeries – it has a lot to do with the food you eat.
That’s the message at the center of a new initiative in Greensboro. On Tuesday, Cone Health and the Greensboro Police Department Community Connectors hosted the first mobile food market in Freeman Mill Square.
“We connect health and hunger and how food directly impacts a person’s overall health,” said Jamilla Pinder, associate director, Healthy Communities, Cone Health. “We are committed to providing the community with access to fresh produce, and this will help us continue these efforts.”
The Mobile Food Market is scheduled for the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month through June. Families across the city will be able to choose from a wide variety of fresh produce – including tomatoes, collard greens, oranges and more. – free of charge.
Fresh produce is available through grants that allow Cone Health to work with local farmers, especially farmers of color. And the initiative wouldn’t be possible without Cone Health’s healthcare food pantry partnership with Northwestern North Carolina’s Second Harvest Food Bank. Together, the organizations have a common vision to provide healthy food to people in this region who need it.
“Food insecurity and health go hand in hand,” said Eric Aft, general manager of Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwestern North Carolina. “Our partnership with Cone Health on the mobile food market and other initiatives is essential to the mission and work of Second Harvest Food Bank to ensure that all individuals and families, and the communities in which we live together, have the opportunity to thrive, free from the consequences of hunger.
Organizers chose Freeman Mill Square as the location for the mobile food market because it sits in the middle of a food and medical wasteland near the heart of the city. Cone Health’s mobile medicine unit had already been traveling to the mall every Tuesday since the start of the pandemic to provide walk-in medical services to the community. Organizers hope the Mobile Food Market offers the community another avenue to prioritize healthy living.
“It’s an opportunity to meet people where they are,” Pinder said. “There’s a lot of need here, and it’s just one way to be there with the community.”