MEMPHIS, Tenn.– A new mobile grocery store is making access to healthy food a bit easier for many communities that are a part of food deserts across Memphis.
The Mobile Grocer will move to different neighborhoods in Memphis without immediate access to a grocery store for several hours every day. The goal is to eliminate food deserts and help families live healthier lives.
The mobile store is run by non-profit The Works Inc. Roshun Austin, president and CEO of the non-profit, said the idea for the store was inspired by one he saw in another city.
“When I saw the idea in Louisville I thought it was a wonderful idea. We had been figuring out how do we get food into neighborhoods outside of our brick and mortar store in south Memphis,” Austin said.
The Mobile Grocer, which set up shop Wednesday in the historic Klondike Smokey City neighborhood, is stocked with fresh produce, canned goods and household items.
“There are many places in Memphis that are kinda like a dry spot, a dry area, no access to healthy food options or food options in general. There’s Family Dollar stores but you can’t get whole meals. You get the processed options but having healthy options helps families live healthier lifestyles,” Austin said.
We were there as Jasmen Richmond did her grocery run at the Mobile Grocer. The store she used to go to off Jackson closed, making a quick trip to grab needed goods harder.
“Not too many people have access to being mobile or some people might take the bus to go to go wherever they need to go,” Richmond said.
The Works CEO says they’re talking to other non-profit partners to identify needs for the mobile store to set up in neighborhoods. Hours for when and where it will be each day and for what times are still being finalized based on need.