Friday, September 16, 2011
We've all heard about food deserts -- areas, typically in inner cities, where all you can buy is fast food and convenience-store crap. No specialty food stores, no farmers' markets, no Walmarts or Whole Foods -- apparently the margins on groceries, traditionally razor thin, just don't mitigate in favor of locating in the hood. Other causes exist, including racism, probably, but simple lack of incentive seems to account for most of it. Fresh food, widely available a few miles away, just isn't there for purchase.
In Chicago, which evidently has many food desert areas, some folks got the idea of bringing Muhammad to the Mountain, so to speak, and created Fresh Moves (their website). They've refitted a full-size city bus as a rolling market. Instead of gambling on a piece of real estate and a location, the infrastructure moves from place to place, on a daily schedule, in one of the more desolate (food-wise) neighborhoods. Here's a Google search for pictures of the vehicle and other related subjects. Thanks to Linda for passing this on.
What else could you sell out of a bus (leaving aside the obvious food-truck concepts?) Hardware store stuff? What if there were two or three of these things, moving together (more than that and you'd probably run into parking problems?) Why, it's a shopping center on wheels! And consider: come closing time, you aren't leaving your store and inventory sitting in a dodgy neighborhood, inviting break-ins.