Free mobile produce markets help communities with food insecurity during pandemic


COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Columbus Recreation and Parks and the Mid-Ohio Food Collective have teamed up to bring free mobile produce markets to neighborhoods in central Ohio.

At Tuttle Park, volunteers handed out large bags of free produce as well as masks. Michael Muncy was the first to get his food.

“We are very grateful,” said Muncy. “I never knew this existed and we came down here and the good lord smiled on us today.”

He happened to be at the right place at the right time.

“I said, ‘Well what’s it cost?’ and he said it was free, and I said ‘Well we can wait on that,'” said Muncy.

He is just like others during this pandemic — looking for a way to make every dollar stretch.

“We’re on a fixed income and that helps us tremendously,” he said.

The nation is seeing food prices increase across the board with beef prices up more than 20 percent, while eggs, chicken and pork are up nearly 10 percent. That increase may lead more people going to local food banks and free mobile food sites.

“One of the reasons people come to the food bank and our partners is because of the cost of grocers,” said Malik Perkins, public relations manager of the Mid-Ohio Food Collective.

Perkins said even with the recent price increase, their increase stands at 16 percent, which is what it was when the pandemic began.

Eric Brandon, who is the assistant director of Recreations and Parks, said they will still look to help those who are in need.

“We believe that there’s a need in some bubbles like this that we don’t always hear about,” said Brandon.

Here’s a list of August and September Free Mobile Produce Markets at City of Columbus Recreation and Parks Community Centers:

Thursday, Aug. 6: Glenwood and Holton                                                    

Friday, Aug. 7: Tuttle

Thursday, Aug. 13: Adams, Dodge, Howard, and Scioto Southland                                 

Friday, Aug. 14: Barnett and Beatty

Thursday, Aug. 20: Glenwood and Holton

Friday, Aug. 21: Feddersen, Milo Grogan, and Tuttle

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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