New ideas are keeping things fresh at the Inn of the Good Shepherd’s Mobile Market.
This season marks the debut of Snack Pack, a pilot project distributing nutritious snacks to youngsters in geared-to-income housing this summer.
Inn executive director Myles Vanni said the program helps fill the gap created by the end of the school year.
“A lot of families are reliant on student nutrition programs through schools,” Vanni explained. “Once school is out, kids are not getting the nutrition they need.
“It puts extra pressure on the parents.”
Fruit and granola bars are among the goodies in the packages, which are given out each Friday.
Mobile Market is a popular program in which fresh fruits, vegetables and bread are shared with Sarnia-Lambton’s less fortunate.
Last year, 6,200 lbs. of food was distributed at six locations in Sarnia. A Lambton College stop has been added this season.
Helping people with low incomes stay healthy is what it’s all about, Vanni explained.
“We have people struggling from paycheque to paycheque,” Vanni said, adding fresh fruit and vegetables are expensive items on any grocery list.
It’s also difficult for people accessing the food bank once a month to keep fresh produce.
“You can’t stock fresh foods,” Vanni said. “This way they are getting fresh foods each week.”
Mobile Market patrons also get information, with health promoters sharing tips on topics ranging from diabetes to dental health to smoking cessation.
In the fall, Vanni said, the Mobile Market will hold workshops on how to prepare and freeze corn, applesauce and squash for the winter.
Dates will be announced at the markets two to three weeks prior to the kitchen nights, Vanni said.
Donors are also embracing the mobile market, Vanni said.
“Many thanks to the farmers, greenhouse owners and gardeners who support with program with donations of produce,” Vanni said.
One anonymous donor contributed $10,000 to this year’s market, he said.
The Mobile Market makes one-hour stops on:
Roger Street parking lot – 9:30 a.m.
Kathleen Avenue park — 11 a.m.
Veteran’s Park, Victoria Street N. —12:30 p.m.
YMCA Learning & Career Centre, 660 Oakdale Avenue — 2 p.m.
Aamjiwnaang, Community Centre Pavilion 12:30 p.m.
Lambton College, Events Centre, 1485 London Road — 2 p.m.
Corunna All Saints Anglican Church, Hill Street — 11 a.m.
To access the market, patrons must bring one of the following:
* The Inn or any food bank client card
* ID and proof of residence in Lambton County, co-op housing or student residence
* Proof of social assistance income (OW of ODSP or OAS)