The Mobile Farmers’ Market (MFM) is a collaborative focused on improving health equity for low income individuals and families in Bernalillo County, by supporting local farmers and increasing access to and education about affordable, healthy, locally produced foods.
In the 2016 season, the Healthy Here Mobile Farmers’ Market, a farmer’s market on wheels, provided over 1,000 residents of Albuquerque’s International District and South Valley with healthy, affordable, organically grown fruits and vegetables, and educational resources for how to prepare the markets’ offerings in cost-effective, delicious and easy ways. This effort is part of the Healthy Here initiative that includes Presbyterian Healthcare Services, Bernalillo County Community Health Council and community partners including but not limited to: Agri-Cultura Network, La Cosecha CSA, Street Food Institute, Kids Cook!, UNM Southeast Heights Clinic, First Nations Healthsource, Van Buren Middle School, First Choice Community Healthcare, Los Padillas Community Center, UNM Prevention Research Center, and the International District Healthy Communities Coalition.
The market accepts all forms of payment, including WIC and Senior Farmers’ Market Checks, SNAP/EBT and Double-Up Food Bucks (get twice as much produce for the same price).
Adelante, a nonprofit social service agency in Albuquerque provides individualized support services for over 1,000 New Mexicans with mental, physical and developmental disabilities, as well as disabled veterans and the elderly. Through this work, in year one of the Mobile Farmers’ Market, Adelante developed technological capacity for tracking activity and multi-point, cross-agency usage of services for health, wellness and nutrition. In addition, initial plans included benefits connection at the market provided through Adelante. In year two of the MFM, Adelante secured a contract with Perigee, an organization that constructed a mobile Point of Sale system specifically built to support acceptance of federal food assistance programs and integrate with a web hosted inventory control and transaction aggregation application. The goal was to more easily support mobile markets at multiple locations, aggregating all sales transactions and capturing assistance program usage with a different data collection platform. As we transitioned from year 2 to year 3, the Presbyterian Center for Community Health that houses the MFM entered a contract directly with Perigee to continue providing mobile application services and sought Social Work practicum students to support benefits connection. Through open communication and aligning organizational goals and capacity, Adelante transitioned out of the MFM programming.