State to fund university’s mobile farmers market for underserved communities

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - Governor Kay Ivey recently awarded Oakwood University $40 thousand for a special project: a mobile farmers market, much like the campus market, that will serve underprivileged communities in Northwest Huntsville.

"Our vision for this mobile unit will be an outfitted bus that will be an actual farmers market," explained Lisa Dalrymple, Healthy Campus 20/20 Director and Oakwood Associate Professor.

Oakwood student health ambassadors will be the face of this project.

"The state of Alabama, through the ADECA grant, saw wisdom in what we're proposing," explained Prudence  Pollard, Oakwood University's Vice President of Research and Faculty Development.

Oakwood leaders said diet has a direct impact on health.

Right now these communities are unhealthy because they don't have access to healthy food options.

"There are actually areas in Huntsville, Alabama where individuals cannot get fresh fruits and vegetables. We're concerned about that," added Pollard.

Pollard said you can recognize a food desert by one of two ways: a lack of sidewalks in the area and the amount of access to transportation.

When people can't walk, ride or drive to food sources, they're most likely living in a food desert.

The healthy options provided for these underserved communities will come straight from Oakwood Farms and other affordable sources.

"What we hope, is to lower their health risks," added Dalrymple.

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