Video: Cooking on a Budget with Local Matters
Local Matters, an organization addressing food insecurity, is bringing back their Veggie Van. First introduced in 2009, the Veggie Van has recently received an influx of funding to get it back on the streets in neighborhoods without easy access to fresh, organic produce.
Tori Strickland, Director of Programs for Local Matters, says this newest iteration is more like Veggie Van 5.0. With a $50 thousand grant from the University at Buffalo to fund mobile food retail efforts, and an additional $50 thousand grant from the Franklin County Catalyst Grant Program, Local Matters is now able to offer not just fresh produce, but shelf-stable items, on-site nutrition education and cooking demos.
“We talk a lot around one of our main concepts, which is being able to feed a family of four with $10 or less, and embody what it means to create and source healthy meals on a budget,” Strickland says.
Along with produce, customers can find rice and beans, oils, vinegars and seasonings to round out their meals.
Because they’re considered more like a farmers market, Local Matters’ Veggie Van doesn’t currently accept WIC, though they’re working to change that. But, they do accept SNAP.
The van will travel through three at-risk neighborhoods: Linden, Hilltop and the Near East Side. For consistency, the Veggie Van will appear at the same location at the same time each week.
On Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., it’ll be at the Trio Pharmacy in Linden. On Tuesdays from 2 to 4 p.m. it’ll be at Poindexter Place on the Near East Side. Thursdays they’ll stop at Franklinton Farms from 3 to 6:30 p.m.. And Fridays they’ll be at the King-Lincoln Equitas Healthcare facility from 3 to 5 p.m.