|Community members shop at mobile unit location|
Baton Rouge, La – The Red Stick Farmers’ Market under the auspices of the Big River Economic and Agricultural Development Alliance (BREADA), officially launched its mobile market unit at the Scotlandville Branch Library on Scenic Hwy, May 15, 2013. Henceforth, the market will open every Wednesday, 9:00 am-11:00 am.
The Blue Cross Foundation is building a healthier Louisiana by sponsoring the mobile fresh produce unit. The Fresh Beginnings Program, developed through Mayor-President Melvin L. “Kip” Holden’s Healthy City Initiative, has been awarded a $1 million grant by the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation’s Challenge for a Healthier Louisiana Grant Program. The purpose of the funding is to support innovative partnerships that promote healthy eating and active lifestyles which are aimed at reducing the rate of obesity in Louisiana, especially among children. Funds have enabled the new Mobile Market to Start Rolling in May 2013.
BREADA received a sub award for the Mobile Market Unit from the Mayor's Office. The goal of this collaborative effort is to encourage healthy eating and active lifestyles of the “Food Desert” communities in the Baton Rouge area. The Red Stick Farmers’ Market totes the slogan “Buy Local, Buy Fresh” on signs and t-shirts to transform producers and consumers toward a more robust economy and lifestyle in Louisiana.
Present at the launching were Copper Alvarez, Executive Director, BREADA with staff members; Lydia Marin, Foundation Initiative Manager, Blue Cross & Blue Shield of LA Foundation; Sunanna Chand, Coordinator, Mayor’s Healthy City Initiative, Office of Mayor President Melvin “Kip” Holden; several Southern University Ag Center employees and community shoppers.
“Southern Ag Center has been in the conversation from the beginning when we were planning strategies to solve the USDA food desert declaration of North Baton Rouge,” Alvarez said.