On June 1, the Boise Farmers Market rolled out its Mobile Market program for the sixth year in a row. The Mobile Market runs from June to September, servicing 13 different sites around the Treasure Valley this year.
The Mobile Market brings local produce and eggs to Boise neighborhoods with the intent of helping those who cannot get to the market downtown.
According to BFM Market Manager Tamara Cameron, the goal of the Mobile Market is to serve everyone, but it has a special focus on residents who use the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program to buy food. If a shopper buys up to $20 using their EBT Card, the farmers market matches up to $20 in market tokens that can be spent just like cash at the Mobile Market or the Boise Farmers Market.
The Mobile Market also takes care to visit people in senior centers and those who live in places where it is difficult to get to grocery stores
“When we go to senior centers it's an opportunity for these folks to not only get fresh food but also to socialize,” Cameron said. “It’s an opportunity to create community around food.”
Cameron said this mobile program is especially significant for people who live in food deserts—areas where getting to a grocery store for fresh food is more difficult.
According to a press release, 2,282 customers of the Mobile Market spent over $24,000 on more than 10,000 pounds of fresh fruit and produce during the 2019 season. Over $20,000 of that revenue was paid to local farmers.
Cameron said at the Mobile Market’s last stop on Thursday, toward the end of the day, they mark items down for those who can’t afford food but also don’t qualify to receive food stamps.