Eastern Market mobile markets, Fresh Prescription Program increase access to healthy foods

- For some, getting access to fresh produce can be difficult. 

"Food access throughout Detroit remains a challenge -- be it transportation, not having healthy foods in their community, still relying on corner stores and gas stations to buy food and that's a significant problem," said Denise Pike, CHASS Development Director.

More than 30,000 metro Detroiters live in areas with little-to-no access to nutritious foods, but thanks to Eastern Market's farm stands and community markets, healthy options are just around the corner.

"We take out 25 pop-up mobile markets and half of them are community sites that we go to. Some this year we're exploring outside of the city," said Patrice Brown with Eastern Market Food Access.

And for some, fruits and vegetables aren't only on their grocery list -- they're also on their doctor's note. The Fresh Prescription Program can be found at a number of stands and community markets. It was first launched at the CHASS Center in southwest Detroit.

"We are looking to help people make the connection between what they eat and how they feel. Many of our patients expect a prescription to make them feel better. Often times, nutritional therapies work the best," Pike said.

Doctors actually prescribe fresh produce, essential for those with chronic diseases, like Uolanda Davis, who has diabetes. 

"It's really for me about kick starting healthy habits, changing some of the bad habits that I have and making a new, fresh start," she said.

A fresh start -- all part of Eastern Market's mission as a nonprofit to provide access to healthy food. 

"I've always know that the Eastern Market was the best place to get your fruits and vegetables, bringing it into the community that eliminates some of the access issues of getting down here," Davis said. 

Learn more about Eastern Market's food programs by clicking here.

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