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Published on March 09, 2022

Cone Health, Community Partners Host First Mobile Food Market at Freeman Mill Square

Cone Health, Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest NC, and the Greensboro Police Department are working together to increase access to healthy food in the Gate City.

Greensboro – Good health isn’t just about vital-sign checks, medications or surgeries – it has a lot to do with the food you eat.

That’s the message at the center of a new initiative in Greensboro. Tuesday, Cone Health and the Greensboro Police Department's Community Connectors hosted the first Mobile Food Market at Freeman Mill Square.

“We’re connecting health and hunger and how food has a direct impact on a person’s overall health,” said Jamilla Pinder, assistant director, Healthy Communities, Cone Health. “We’re committed to providing the community with access to fresh produce, and this will help us continue those efforts.” 

The Mobile Food Market is scheduled for the second and fourth Tuesday of every month through June. Families from across the city will be able to take their pick from a wide variety of fresh produce – including tomatoes, collard greens, oranges, and more – at no cost.

The fresh produce is available through grant funding that allows Cone Health to work with local farmers, particularly farmers of color. And the initiative would not be possible without Cone Health’s health care pantry partnership with Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest North Carolina. Together, the organizations have a shared vision to provide healthy food to the people in this area who need it.

“Food insecurity and health go hand in hand,” said Eric Aft, chief executive officer, Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest North Carolina. “Our partnership with Cone Health on the Mobile Food Market and other initiatives is vital to Second Harvest Food Bank’s mission and work to ensure that all individuals and families, and the communities we live in together, have the opportunity to flourish, free from the consequences of hunger.”

Organizers selected Freeman Mill Square as the location for the Mobile Food Market because it’s in the middle of a food and medical desert near the heart of the city. The Cone Health Mobile Medicine Unit had already been coming to the retail center every Tuesday since early in the pandemic to provide walk-in medical services to the community. Organizers hope the Mobile Food Market provides the community with another avenue to prioritize healthy living.

“This is an opportunity to meet people where they are,” Pinder said. “There are a lot of needs here, and this is just one way that we can be right there with the community.”