While working in the Allied Drive neighborhood with the Boys & Girls Club of Madison, Fresh Madison Market owner Jeff Maurer recognized a great need for healthy food alternatives in many neighborhoods throughout the city. After meeting a little girl who had never tasted a blueberry, Jeff decided to bring healthy alternatives to the "food deserts" across Dane County. After researching similar health food delivery strategies in other cities, Jeff created the Freshmobile Initiative, a 501(c)(3) non-profit foundation.
What's a Food Desert?
A food desert is any industrialized area where healthy, affordable food is difficult or impossible to obtain. Most prevalent in minority communities of low socioeconomic status, food deserts are often linked to high incidences of diet-related health problems. Barriers that restrict access to healthy foods include lack of access to food retailers, limited availability of nutritious and affordable foods, lack of mobility, and high rates of poverty. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has created a Food Desert Locator which pinpoints problem areas with limited access to affordable food alternatives. The red bullet point on the image below is the Allied Drive neighborhood in Madison, an area with severely limited access to fresh and healthy alternatives to.
How can Freshmobile help?
Working closely with the City/County Health Department, the Madison Mayor's office, and the Dane County Executive's office, Jeff has selected several locations in Dane County that are most in need of fresh and healthy food alternatives. A non-profit organization, Freshmobile will provide various food deserts in Dane County affordable access to healthy foods. Stocked daily with fresh fruits and vegetables, milk and dairy products, and other healthy alternatives, Freshmobile will accept EBT, credit, debit and cash payments for its affordable food options.
The Freshmobile Initiative is sponsored in part by Fresh Madison Market, Meriter Health Services, Physician's Plus Insurance, and Kayser Ford. The Freshmobile Initiative has also received a grant from the Madison Community Foundation, a group that encourages, facilitates and manages long-term philanthropy in the Madison community. The Boys & Girls Club of Dane County, the Urban League of Greater Madison, as well as Centro Hispano of Dane County have provided additional support and endorsement.