Elizabeth Owens is legally blind, surviving on social security income and SNAP benefits, but that doesn’t stop her from wanting to eat healthier.
“Fresh vegetables are hard to buy sometimes, but I know they are better for me. This market helps me stretch my food dollars.”
With the help of a church friend who drives her, Elizabeth attended Inter-Faith Food Shuttle’s public Mobile Market at Praise Temple Baptist Church on Wake Forest Road in Raleigh. The multi-community free food market is held with the help of church volunteers every fourth Saturday in the community room of the church.
Inter-Faith Food Shuttle operates around 40 Mobile Markets each month with community partners. Most are private markets, serving only the members of the partner’s community,
but several, like this one at Praise Temple, are open to the public. (Click here for a list of open mobile markets.) Nutrition Educators from Inter-Faith Food Shuttle also provide food tastings and recipes using some of the vegetables offered at the market.
Vernon Spinks, pastor of Praise Temple, says volunteers, as well as those in need, come from all over the community and from other churches.
“We should be serving the community. It just makes you feel good to bring a bag of groceries to someone’s car and lift their spirits.”
Spinks said many of the people who come here have circumstances in their lives, like a sick husband or a lost job, that allow only enough money to take care of essential bills. Theycut corners on how much, and what kind of, food they buy.
“This mobile market helps them get through the month.”
Oswald Marsh, a church volunteer, stood in the hallway with a huge smile and outstretched arms greeting each participant, as he guided them from the building entrance to the community room where rows of tables were stacked with fresh vegetables, packaged goods, and breads.
“We call this a ‘community affair’. Folks here are not less fortunate, they are just in need right now.”