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Farm to Family: Mark Lilly's "Veggie Bus"

How does one get fresh, local produce to urban areas?  Mark Lilly uses a bus he bought for $3500 off craigslist, dubbed by Richmond, VA locals as "The Veggie Bus."

In 2009, Lilly created Farm to Family.  Farm to Family offers produce from within the community, featuring chemical-free products.  The bus brings the farm to local neighborhoods where residents may not otherwise have access to these fruits and veggies!  Sometimes they'll even bring chickens and rabbits so kids can truly understand how to "know your food."  From lettuce to fresh pasta to bacon, they've got all sorts of locally sourced food.

Lilly also gives cooking instructions and gives out seeds to city kids to encourage them to plant them in pots.  Maybe if little kids are encouraged to start their own urban farm, urban farming will become the norm for future generations!  

Additionally, Farm to Family also has a milk delivery service and a CSA.  

Farm to Family also takes food stamps, so people who might not normally be able to afford local and chemical-free food have the opportunity to do so.  

Farm to Family serves urban areas called "food deserts," meaning people live more than a mile from a grocery store without a car to get there.  The USDA says that about 23 million Americans are affected by this, including 6.5 million kids.  They might have access to a mini-mart, but if they're anything like the mini-mart on my street, they sell a combination of junk food and expired dairy products.  

Farm to Family makes enough money selling in some more affluent neighborhoods that he can afford to give some of this fresh and locally sourced yummies to the homeless.

What an inspiration!