SAN ANTONIO – Food insecurity and obesity are two big problems facing San Antonio.
You might think they are on the opposite sides of the spectrum, but these issues can be linked – and have negative impacts on our community.
The San Antonio Food Bank is working with the HealthTexas Medical Group to host the Mobile Mercado to help out.
“I got apples and fruits and cucumbers and all that to make something to eat for dinner,” Juanita Ramirez said.
Ramirez was one of the dozens of people in line Wednesday morning for the Mobile Mercado looking to load up on healthy foods.
“Well, a lot of people I know have a lot of friends that don’t have anything and hardly anything. I went one time to the food pantry... they give us so much food. I just gave it to my neighbors,” Ramirez said.
This Mobile Mercado is a “farmacy” on wheels — pharmacy spelled with an “F” because there are fresh fruits and vegetables meant for so many families in and around the community. It’s equivalent to a mobile farm.
“When we can provide some fresh produce and a good variety at no cost, no risk to the recipient, then they’re more likely to try it,” Eric Cooper, president CEO San Antonio Food Bank, said.
The Mobile Mercado is a mini grocery store, farmers market, and demonstration kitchen with a mission to improve access to healthy, affordable foods.
“71 percent of the population in San Antonio are obese,” Dr. Lenibet Montemayor with the HealthTexas Medical Group said.
Part of the problem that leads to obesity is that so many families do not understand what they are eating.
“To educate families about good nutrition, the Mobile Mercado was created to really hydrate the food deserts... to be able to have a convenient way to bring more grocery items and fresh produce to a community while bringing some education, some excitement,” Cooper said.
If you’re interested in learning more about the Mobile Mercado and when you can take part, click here.