“If our trailer broke and we couldn’t reach our 19 stops every week, that would be 19 stores in the neighborhood that are also closing down. Suddenly 19 different communities in our city would not have easy access to healthy food. “
The trailer met an immediate need in the city, but the Healthy Community Store Initiative is planning to transition to a more sustainable model.
Currently, the Healthy Community Store Initiative has partnered with two family-run neighborhood stores, Jackson’s Food Mart, 704 W. 23rd St., and Tulsa Food Mart, 1707 Southwest Blvd., to bring healthy fruits and vegetables to these neighborhoods.
They collect surplus vegetables and fruits from local chain stores, farmers, and the organization’s own 5 acre farm in northern Tulsa.
“We have volunteers who come on the farm and help us pick fruits and vegetables,” Plohocky said.
Lily Smith is a program manager for the Healthy Community Store Initiative.
“Our mobile grocer has so many stops every week that we’re pretty busy,” said Smith. “Our warehouse is full. It’s just hard to keep enough in stock for what we do.
“That’s why we’re always looking for new ways to reach people.”