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October 9, 2019 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM

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Come to the launch—and first-ever stop—of the Fresh Routes Mobile Grocery Store project in Edmonton. Beginning on October 9, every Wednesday the Fresh Routes refrigerated truck will make a stop at the Clareview Community Recreation Centre, from 6:30 to 8 p.m., bringing vegetables, fruit, eggs, bread, and more to sell at or just above cost to the local community.

Additional locations throughout the city are in the works for the coming weeks, as the project aims to reach as many communities as possible, providing access to healthy and affordable food that, at the same time, contributing to reduce waste and its impact on the environment.

The Mobile Grocery Store comes to Edmonton as a younger sibling to the Grocery Run, a project initiated by Faculty of Extension researchers in partnership with the Health Brokers Cooperative and other local organizations, which since 2016 has been providing non-perishable food items to families assisted through the program.

Even though the Grocery Run provides nearly three tonnes of food a month to its clients, the organizations behind it felt an expansion was badly needed. They learned about the mobile store that had been pioneered in Calgary by the Leftovers Foundation, and started to set the wheels in motion to replicate the idea in Edmonton. With the Calgary organization on board, Leftovers Edmonton was born. “The Leftovers name helped us,” says Maria Mayan, Extension’s interim dean. “It was quite well-known, so it helped us get more donors and more service agencies that we could donate to.”

The Fresh Routes Mobile Grocery Store has the support of Extension’s Community-University Partnership (CUP), the City of Edmonton, the Multicultural Health Brokers Cooperative, the Edmonton Community Development Company, Communities United, and the Edmonton Community Foundation.