United Way of Greater New Bedford’s Mobile Market began distributing free, fresh produce to low-income working families on Tuesday, July 12. The program will run on Tuesdays and Thursdays throughout the summer.

Now in its eighth season, Mobile Market aims to remove the barriers families often face in getting fresh produce. By offering free produce after traditional work hours, United Way gives families access to fruits, vegetables, and other items they might not otherwise be able to obtain due to financial restraints or the hours that traditional food pantries are open.

Victoria Grasela is the Vice President of Marketing & Community Engagement at UWGNB. She addressed the effect that the current times have had on local families here in Greater New Bedford.

“We’ve all been feeling the impact of inflation due to the pandemic, and this is causing families to forgo healthy options,” Grasela said. “Mobile Market pushes barriers like this aside and allows families access to produce that will improve their overall health and wellness. We are committed to easing some of the stress families are feeling right now.”

Contributed by United Way of Greater New Bedford
Contributed by United Way of Greater New Bedford

Markets are held each week in Wareham and New Bedford and run from 5:30 to 7 pm or until all food is distributed. In Wareham, markets are held on Tuesdays at Wareham Middle School, located at 4 Viking Drive. In New Bedford, markets alternate between BankFive locations in the North and South ends of the city – located at 1724 Acushnet Ave. and 160 County St. on Thursday evenings. To view the full schedule, visit The Mobile Market website.

The produce is grown locally at Sharing the Harvest Community Farm at the YMCA Southcoast Dartmouth. Produce varies from week to week depending on the growing season. Mobile Market New Bedford is sponsored by BankFive, and Mobile Market Wareham is sponsored by Southcoast Health – both of whose employees also volunteer at many of the Mobile Markets throughout the season.

Qualifying families and individuals are invited to visit the Mobile Market every other week. Electronic pre-registration is encouraged to reduce both wait times and the spread of germs, but registration may also be done on-site. Pre-registration does NOT guarantee produce, as UWGNB serves on a first-come, first-served basis. Anyone not vaccinated is required to wear a mask.

Families and individuals who are able to visit a food pantry during traditional hours are encouraged to do so. Pantries distribute fresh produce from Sharing the Harvest, in addition to bread, meat, dairy, and other food items.

To learn more about the Mobile Market, the Hunger Commission, or United Way of Greater New Bedford, please visit unitedwayofgnb.org.

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