A bright green bus slowed to a stop outside Hope Manor in West Toledo, and residents climbed aboard ready to shop for fresh produce and dry goods.
It was the first stop Tuesday for ProMedica’s mobile market, an off-shoot of the Market on the Green located at 1806 Madison Ave. Since it began making rounds in September, the bus has visited more than two dozen low-income or senior living buildings, hoping to reach residents who have limited mobility or transportation access.
Behind the wheel is assistant market manager Felicia Sanchez, who has been among those working since January to get the mobile market up and running.
“By providing access to healthy food, we can help alleviate the stress of a lot of medical issues,” Ms. Sanchez said. “Hunger is a health issue and access to food is a key indicator.”
The bus is packed with fresh produce, as well as other fresh staples such as milk, eggs, cheese, beef, and chicken.
Convenience was the top selling point for several customers at Hope Manor, a senior living complex in West Toledo.
“One day I came out and saw the bus was here and, of course, I’m nosy,” Patricia McGuire, 66, joked while talking about how she learned of the service.
“I only go to the store once a month, and people need milk and bread absolutely more than once a month,” she said. “It’s really good because I don’t drive and I can’t walk like I used to.”
In her bags Tuesday: milk, bread, chicken salad, tomatoes, and bananas.
“It’s good to get fresh fruit,” she said. “They have just about everything you need.”
Marietta Reiter, 95, who has lived in the complex 10 years, left with two shopping bags holding milk, crackers, bananas, and grapes. Before the bus started showing up on her doorstep, she had to arrange other transportation options to get groceries.
“I don’t drive anymore,” she said. “A friend of mine drives so I hook up with her.”
The mobile market is funded through a $100,00 grant through ProMedica’s finance fund, Ms. Sanchez said.
To learn more about the service or inquire about scheduling new stops, call 567-585-0056.