Have you seen a big, green bus covered in colorful photos of food roaming around your neighborhood? You’re not hallucinating - you’re witnessing the Twin Cities Mobile Market, a grocery store on wheels that is committed to bringing you affordable and accessible nutrition.
The TCMM began as a program of the Wilder Foundation in 2014, and has recently expanded to include two bus markets, servicing a total of 31 locations. Founder Leah Porter developed the concept after conducting research on food and social justice and learning about similar programs in other cities around the U.S. The TCMM is a team of 13 people with Filsan Ibrahim serving as the Community Engagement Coordinator.
The Mobile Market buys produce from local farmers while ensuring that their prices are comparable to those of large grocery stores like Cub. Plus, as a part of the Market Bucks program, TCMM can now match dollar for dollar with SNAP.
They offer a wide variety of groceries and take suggestions, aiming to provide options to people of all cultures and needs. Leah recalls a particularly great story of transporting live lobsters to a customer for a holiday meal!
Unsure of how to prepare and cook fresh produce? You are not alone. Fortunately, the Mobile Market has offered cooking classes, easy recipes, and even a free “recipe of the week,” and is working to offer more yummy ways to eat healthy.
What does the future look like for TCMM? Leah and Filsan happily report that 89% of their customers buy more fruits and veggies than they did prior to shopping at the Mobile Market. They are looking to add more buses in the future, as they have received good community feedback.
With three locations right here in Frogtown, Leah and Filsan want you to check out the Mobile Market anytime you see it out and parked, because it is open to everyone, no questions asked!
The Market will be at the Hubbs Learning Center (1030 University Ave) on Wednesdays from 11:30-1:00, the Wilder Square Hi-Rise (750 Milton St.) on Thursdays from 3:30-4:30pm, and at the Wilder Child Development Center (911 Lafond Ave) on Thursdays from 5:00-6:00pm. They can’t wait to see you!
Mango Blueberry Fruit Salad with Thyme
4 mangoes (cubed)
1 cup blueberries
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1 teaspoon grated ginger
¼ cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
Honey to taste (optional)
Cube mangoes into bite-sized pieces. Add blueberries, thyme, ginger, lemon juice and lemon zest. Gently toss. Add honey (optional).