St. Luke’s University Hospital in Bethlehem, Pa., recently awarded a grant to a local foundation behind an innovative solution to tackle food deserts in the Lehigh Valley. The Eat Real Food Mobile Market, a trailer pulled by a truck that sells local, farm-fresh food as well as nonperishables, is a combined initiative of the Two Rivers Health & Wellness Foundation and the Kellyn Foundation, which is based in Tatamy, Pa.
The aim of both organizations is to connect the healthy lifestyles education that Kellyn provides children in the classroom to their families and friends in the community, according to the foundation’s website. The Mobile Market also provides healthy food to seniors in local housing facilities and to residents in neighborhoods without easy access to a grocery store—12 sites in all.
It drives between the sites each week from June through October, according to an article by WFMZ, and accepts SNAP benefits, WIC and other senior benefit programs.
“Our whole mission is called the Healthy Neighborhood Immersion program, so how do we get the schools involved? How do we get the school gardens that we build? How do we have a mobile market in the neighborhood as well as the corner stores and making it a healthy environment yearround?” asked Kellyn CEO and co-founder Eric Ruth in an interview with WFMZ.
The hospital’s $6,500 grant will enable the foundation to continue offering healthy food to families across the area it serves.