Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service

Hunger Task Force Targets Food Deserts

Mobile Markets makes two stops every week day bringing fresh, affordable foods to neighborhoods.

By , Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service - Feb 3rd, 2021 11:44 am
The Hunger Task Force operates the Mobile Market, which takes fresh groceries across Milwaukee County. File Photo by Sue Vliet/NNS.

The Hunger Task Force operates the Mobile Market, which takes fresh groceries across Milwaukee County. File Photo by Sue Vliet/NNS.

The Hunger Task Force’s Mobile Market makes two stops a day Monday through Friday, bringing fresh, affordable foods to communities in Milwaukee County that might not have them otherwise.

Sherrie Tussler, executive director of the Hunger Task Force, said the food comes from Piggly Wiggly grocery stores, which partners with the food bank. She said a licensed dietitian helps decide what foods go on the truck, making sure the options are healthy and suitable for a balanced diet. In addition, thanks to federal funding, the goods are sold at a 25% discount.

Shoppers can use a debit or credit card as well as FoodShare and other forms of food stamps to pay. Cash is not accepted.

The Mobile Market provides food in a city where most people live further than a 10-minute walk from their nearest grocery store, according to a 2019 report from the Milwaukee Department of City Development. The report found a majority of Milwaukee residents had low access to food based on this metric.

There are 13 food deserts in Milwaukee, most of which are located in communities of color on the North Side. “Food deserts” are defined as a geographic area where residents have limited access to food.

Tussler said the market makes stops all over Milwaukee County, including public housing units, universities and rescue missions. The market, which is handicap accessible, makes regular stops at sites for the elderly as well as Industries for the Blind.

On the first Monday of every month, from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m., the market visits Westlawn Gardens, 6041 W. Silver Spring Drive. Ald. Cavalier Johnson, who represents the 2nd Aldermanic District, said the markets provide quality food for members of his district.

Johnson said this is especially important because his district has lost two grocery providers, and the pandemic has added other challenges to residents as well.

“Food scarcity has become a bigger and bigger issue,” Johnson said.

For more information

Check out the full schedule with dates and locations on the Hunger Task Force website to see when the Mobile Market is heading your way.

This story was originally published by Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service, where you can find other stories reporting on fifteen city neighborhoods in Milwaukee.

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