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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

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Gov. Whitmer endorses Kamala Harris for president, says she's not leaving Michigan; Grilled by lawmakers on the Trump assassination attempt, Secret Service director says, 'We failed;' Teachers rally at national convention in Houston; Opioid settlement fund fuels anti-addiction battle in Indiana; Nonprofit agency says corporate donations keep programs going.

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Kamala Harris rapidly picks up Democratic Support - including vast majority of state party leaders; National rent-cap proposal could benefit NY renters; Carter's adoption support: Empowering families, strengthening workplaces.

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It's grass-cutting season and with it, rural lawn mower races, Montana's drive-thru blood project is easing shortages, rural Americans spend more on food when transportation costs are tallied, and a lack of good childcare is thwarting rural business owners.

New mobile market tackles food deserts in North Carolina

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Tuesday, June 18, 2024   

A new mobile market is tackling food deserts in North Carolina, where 1.4 million people struggle to find healthy food. Ripe for Revival, a nonprofit based in Rocky Mount, has partnered with Coastal Credit Union to increase the availability of fresh produce in underserved areas.

Jonathan Tyndall, operations manager for Ripe for Revival, said the group has a dual mission of supporting local farms and communities, and that by rescuing surplus produce that doesn't make it to grocery stores, Ripe for Revival creates a pay-as-you-go market to reach communities that need it most.

"It's just a way for fresh food to go into areas that otherwise don't have the affordability to get it, or they don't have the access to it. Because there's some areas we go to that they don't have grocery stores, and so a round trip would have to drive an hour," he explained.

To accomplish its mission, Ripe for Revival has converted five city transit buses and two 24-foot cargo trailers into mobile grocery stores. And with the support of Coastal Credit Union's sponsorship of more than $100 in grants, it's been able to add another trailer to its fleet.

These mobile units make about 18 stops and serve about ten counties per week, offering fresh produce and other items such as eggs and meat at prices about 30% lower than regular grocery stores. Tyndall said that impact will now be able to reach new areas and continue to grow with the additional Coastal Credit Union branded trailer.

"Part of their dollars allowed us to expand in the new counties. So they're going to help us to expand in Franklin, Granville, Vance, Warren County, and also kind of extend our reach into Wake County, " he added.

Tyndall explained the group envisions expanding Ripe for Revival's operations to other counties, with a target of serving 23 and hosting 45 events per week by the end of the year. He said these efforts not only support healthier communities, but also help reduce food waste and challenge the stereotypes surrounding food insecurity.

"What do a lot of college students live off of? As a joke, people talk about ramen noodles. So that's actually a form of food insecurity," he explained. "There are certain communities that we go into where they don't have anything except for a Family Dollar [store]. And so, there's nothing fresh for them to go in to purchase."

He said that these mobile markets are not limited to those in need. They are designed to serve everyone, regardless of their circumstances. More information is online at ripeforrevival.com, or on social media platforms.

Disclosure: Coastal Credit Union contributes to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy & Priorities, Civic Engagement, Community Issues and Volunteering, Consumer Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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