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Public Health New Mexico
Thu November 7, 2013
Mobile Food Truck Drives Down Diabetes, Obesity On NM's Pueblos
People who don’t have a grocery store nearby are often left to settle for fast food choices that are less healthy. But a mobile food truck stocked with everything from chia seeds to collard greens is ensuring that rural residents have a leg up on better nutrition.
In response to New Mexico’s high poverty and food insecurity rates, and growing numbers of diabetes and obesity problems, Sysco Foods’ CEO began MoGro –a mobile grocery store that has been visiting five New Mexico pueblos since January of this year.
Rebecca Baran-Rees is the project director for the Santa Fe Community Foundation, which took over the reins of MoGro in June, and she said it’s been a real boon for the pueblo people in several ways. It not only cuts the cost of driving an average of 60 miles to buy food, Baran-Rees said MoGro builds community.
“Instead of having to leave the pueblo in order to access healthy food, folks are able to stay within and it becomes a common meeting ground and someplace that brings more activity into the pueblo centers,” Baran-Rees said.
Besides better food access, coordinators also provide fitness education and cooking classes to support families towards improved health. If you want to catch a glimpse of the MoGro truck with your own eyes, it will be parked at the Santa Fe Farmers Market November 16th for tours. Then it's on to the pueblos of Laguna, Cochiti, Jemez, Santo Domingo, and Cochiti Lake.