Consumers in underserved communities in South Florida can access fresh foods and nutrition information through the new Mobile FARMacy.
Several nonprofit organizations in Florida are going into high gear to address food insecurity. The hunger relief group Feeding South Florida, with backers including Humana, Inc., Aetna and Quantum Foundation, is now operating a trailer-based grocery store called Mobile FARMacy to serve underserved communities in that area.
The air-conditioned, one-aisle unit is stocked with a variety of household goods, including donated and free foods provided by sponsors and for-sale items from local farmer’s markets. Reflecting the focus on both sustenance and health and wellness, the Mobile FARMacy offers an array of fresh protein, produce and dairy products and provides educational services and information focusing on nutritious food as medicine. Shoppers can use their Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Electronic Benefit Transferdollars, debit cards or cash to purchase for-sale items at the Mobile FARMacy.
The mobile food bank will travel to a range of locations in South Florida, including community events, health fairs, senior centers and health care clinics, among others. Demonstrations by program staff and visiting chefs will also help connect food-insecure individuals with products and preparation tips.
“We are thankful and excited for the support of Humana Inc., Aetna and Quantum Foundation as we take this next innovative step toward ensuring improved health outcomes and meeting people where they are and providing a dignified,” said Sari Vatske, EVP of Feeding South Florida. “This project has been a true collaborative effort backed by research that supports the idea that food is medicine.”
Feeding South Florida is a member of the Feeding America network of food banks and serves communities in Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade and Monroe counties. Through its network, the organization distributed over 147.5 million meals to more than one million people in 2020.