Boston, MA – June 29, 2017 –The Trustees today announced the launch of a new initiative to bring fresh, local produce, meat, and dairy to Boston communities that currently have limited access to farm fresh food. Beginning on July 6, the statewide conservation nonprofit’s new Mobile Farmers Market will be the first mobile market in Boston to carry all-local food. Stationed at community sites in Dorchester and Roxbury, the market will offer a wide variety of local, fresh vegetables, along with fruit, meat, eggs, and milk sourced primarily from The Trustees’ Powisset Farm in Dover, as well as other Massachusetts farms. With all food coming direct from the farm, prices will be as affordable as possible and the market will accept cash, credit, SNAP/EBT, and WIC and Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) coupons. The Trustees are also participating in the new Massachusetts Healthy Incentives Program (HIP), which just launched this spring and reimburses SNAP customers for local fruit and vegetable purchases.
The Trustees is one of the largest private owners of farmland in Massachusetts with over 2,000 acres of agricultural land. This includes five community farms, three of which have CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) programs, and 56 community gardens in the City of Boston. Trustees farms and gardens donate an average of 30,000 lbs. of produce annually to food pantries. The Mobile Farmers Market is the organization’s first.
“Preserving farms, promoting the local food movement, and creating opportunities for access to fresh, healthy food has been a growing focus in our nonprofit mission,” says Barbara Erickson, Trustees President and CEO. “We are delighted to have the opportunity to share the bounty of our suburban and partner farms in the heart of Boston, bringing more locally produced food to area residents.”
The Trustees’ new direct, ‘farm-to-neighborhood’ Mobile Farmers Market program is designed to be as physically and financially accessible as possible, with the market making stops at convenient community sites such as health centers, community centers, preschool programs, and senior housing.
“Cost and lack of transportation are powerful barriers preventing many Boston residents from accessing fresh, local food,” says Cathy Wirth, Agriculture Program Director for the Trustees. “Our goal for the Trustees Mobile Farmers Market is to make shopping for healthy, locally-produced food as easy and affordable as possible. We hope that our community locations, reasonable prices, and acceptance of SNAP and food access program benefits will provide more people with an opportunity to experience how different and delicious food can taste when it’s produced and harvested nearby.”
The Trustees’ Mobile Farmers Market was developed with the support of two key partners in Boston, Fresh Truck and the Boston Public Market. Fresh Truck founded the first mobile market in Boston in 2013, and shared their experience and expertise to help the Trustees expand the mobile market network in the City.
“Our mission has always been to address the community health challenges linked to poor food access by bringing fresh food to Boston residents where they live and work,” says Josh Trautwein, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Fresh Truck. “There is more demand for creative food access solutions than we can meet and we are happy to be part of the solution by supporting partners in Boston and beyond who want to launch mobile markets and build connections to healthy food.”
The pilot season of the Trustees Mobile Farmers Market is funded by a grant from the USDA Farmers Market Promotion Program. The Trustees is currently seeking funding to continue this important work beyond 2017.
The Trustees Mobile Farmers Market Truck will operate Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays (excluding holidays) beginning on Thursday, July 6 and running through Saturday, November 4. Stops will be hosted by community partners in Dorchester and Roxbury, including the Roxbury YMCA, Whittier Street Health Center, Dimock Center, and Dorchester Head Start.
The Trustees Mobile Farmers Market will be run by Mobile Market Manager Allison Pekel and Assistant Market Manager Estela Rosario as well as two youth Outreach Assistants, both graduates of the Trustees’ Youth Conservation Corps.
For more details on stops and hours, please visit thetrustees.org/mobile.
Founded by landscape architect Charles Eliot in 1891, The Trustees has, for more than 125 years, been a catalyst for important ideas, endeavors, and progress in Massachusetts. As a steward of distinctive and dynamic places of both historic and cultural value, The Trustees is the nation’s first preservation and conservation organization, and its landscapes and landmarks continue to inspire discussion, innovation, and action today as they did in the past. We are a nonprofit supported by members, friends and donors and our more than 115 sites are destinations for residents, members, and visitors alike, welcoming millions of guests annually. www.thetrustees.org.