Research shows that when people live in neighborhoods where unhealthy food outlets outnumber stores that stock fresh produce, they experience higher rates of obesity and chronic illness. Although Silicon Valley is considered one of the healthier regions in America, there remain disparities in disease and food access across communities and income levels. The Community Health Existing Conditions Report found that only 15 percent of San Jose food retailers offer healthy options, and the proportion of unhealthy food outlets was higher in lower income areas.
That’s where Fresh Carts Silicon Valley comes in.
OBDC, in collaboration with a coalition of partners including Anewamerica, is excited to launch this innovative initiative. Based on New York’s Green Carts program and led by The Health Trust (THT), Fresh Carts Silicon Valley will increase access to healthy foods while creating income-generating opportunities for low-income neighborhoods by training local residents to own and operate their own mobile fruit and vegetable carts. Vendors will sell everything from tropical fruits such as mangoes and papayas to more common items like green beans, carrots and apples. The aim of the initiative which launches this Spring in 3 San Jose target neighborhoods is to alleviate some of the health disparities caused by food deserts while creating jobs for low-income individuals.