Mobile market aims to solve Wichita food desert issues

Forget the days of walking the aisles and waiting in the checkout line, a Kansas family is bringing a grocery store to those who need it most.

“It is so gratifying to know that we can provide this service,” said Common Ground Producers and Growers Inc. Owner Donna Pearson McClish.

Common Ground Producers and Growers Inc. is a family business that provides locally grown produce to food deserts and food insecurity areas in Sedgwick, Harvey and Butler Counties.

“A food desert area is an area that doesn’t have a grocery store within a 1 mile radius. You can’t walk or you can’t ride a bike or get groceries, fresh produce and Wichita has at least 44-square miles of food desert area,” Pearson McClish explained.

Pearson McGlish and her grandson Kalon J McClish Junior travel to a total of 31 sites each month.

On Wednesday, the mobile market stopped at the Shadybrook Senior Apartments in northeast Wichita.

“I don’t have a way to the grocery store, so I would rather get it here when I have the money,” said apartment resident and customer Ruby Roberson.

Ruby Roberson, 61, said she relies on the mobile market to get fresh food.

“Because a lot of people aren’t able to get out, so when they come, we love it,” Roberson said.

“I think that it’s really great. I think there should be more stuff like this is the community,” said customer Michelle Copeland.

Pearson McClish said she’s constantly surprised by the turn out at the mobile market.

“Normally, they are standing in line and waiting for us and waiting to be first,” Pearson McClish said.

It’s something she and her grandson not only look forward to, but appreciate as well.

“It is wonderful!” Pearson McClish said.

“We are stepping up to the plate and helping others,” said McClish Junior.

Click here for a schedule of the mobile farmer’s market.

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