Tue., November 1, 2011 3:47pm (EDT)

Veggie Van Going To Food Deserts
By Josephine Bennett
Updated: 2 years ago

MACON, Ga.  —  
Ambulance in Macon gets second life as mobile veggie van (photo courtesy Community Health Works)
Ambulance in Macon gets second life as mobile veggie van (photo courtesy Community Health Works)
A Macon health advocacy group is addressing Middle Georgia’s 30-percent obesity rate by improving access to fresh fruits and vegetables. The mobile veggie van is targeting the city’s so-called food deserts.

A study by the Food Trust finds some of the state’s poorest neighborhoods lack grocery stores that sell fresh produce, and public transportation to stores that do. These so-called "food deserts" are most prevalent in Atlanta and Macon.

Community Health Works' mobile veggie van will travel weekly from the local farmers' market to several public housing projects. CHW’s Chris Kiker says the converted ambulance is like a modern day ice cream truck.

“A kid wants to try okra. Some people think you can’t eat okra raw. Well you can, if it tastes really good. And it’s changing, changing the momentum and the way we think about food in order to accomplish an overall healthier person, which leads to a healthier community.”

Georgia has the second highest obesity rate in the United States.