Tanya Fields is a Bronx food-justice advocate who has come into possession of a used school bus that she wants to use to bring produce to underserved communities. It already runs on vegetable oil, but it needs a new transmission. And shelves to store fresh veggies. And solar panels to provide energy for cooling and heating. And blenders to make smoothies for vegetable-wary kids. So she’s working to raise $15,000 online to make this a reality. If you donate $50 you can get a banana cream cake!
The grand plan is to create a moving feast of good veggies for a neighborhood that lacks them. DNAinfo reports:
She and her partners want to transport fresh produce from a sustainable upstate farm to the South Bronx, where they’ll sell it on street corners, all the while educating residents about the food system and providing solid jobs.
And, just to make sure no one confuses this for any old farm stand, the “Veggie Mobile Market” will operate out of a playfully painted former school bus that runs on vegetable oil.
What’s great about this project is that Fields is from the Bronx, living in the same areas she wants to serve. So she knows exactly what challenges she’ll face — which are not really problems of supply, but quality. The South Bronx has produce — Hunts Point, where Fields lives, is home to a distribution center — but the stuff for sale to locals is often moldy or bad. Fields told DNAinfo:
I don’t consider it a food desert … it’s a food swamp. There’s a lot of food here — it’s just not very good.
The food bus, though, will make it into a food paradise! Or at least a food normal place where the produce isn’t rotten as soon as you bring it home from the store.