Sprout, a non-profit based in Little Falls that aims to connect and strengthen the local food system, has launched a new grocery store on wheels, the Mobile Market.
“Sprout has been doing CSAs, community sustainable agriculture, for a while now, but this mobile market was more like a portable grocery store that we could also bring around with us so people have more access to fruits and vegetables,” said Dawn Espe, Region 5 Development Commission planner.
The Sprout Mobile Market as well as the art cart hits the road every other Tuesday. Today, they stopped in Staples at the Sourcewell headquarters before traveling up to Pine River.
Sprout launched the Mobile Market in order to increase access to fresh local foods in rural areas.
“We were just recognizing that there’s parts in the region that maybe didn’t have the access to the fresh fruits and vegetables that other people did,” explained Espe. “So we’re trying to make sure that everybody has a great quality of life around the region and that kind of access.”
Traveling with the Mobile Market is Sprout’s À la cARTe Initiative, a cohort of four artists that have come together to build a mobile art studio.
“A lot of times, people don’t necessarily have access to those types of experiences outside of a larger city. The initiative is to have more arts experiences in our rural communities,” said Maria Ervasti, Sprout À la cARTe artist.
The Mobile Market and the À la cARTe Initiative are coordinated by Sprout, the Region 5 Development Commission, and the Five Wings Arts Council.