Fresh, organic produce delivered across the city
The GoFresh Springfield Mobile Farmers market is back in action for the summer – and that suits Springfield Housing Authority residents perfectly.
Four SHA developments are among 15 stops the traveling market makes weekly, starting in early July and running through the end of November. During the first week’s rounds, residents and passersby were able to buy beets, onions, broccoli, garlic, celery, cabbage, lettuce, tomatoes, blueberries and more.
Residents at Gentile, Riverview, Saab Court and Sullivan Apartments, all SHA properties, were more than glad to step out and buy fresh foods for their dinner tables.
“I’m always happy to see them,” said Yamila Peña, a resident at Saab Court. “I can always get good and fresh fruits and vegetables when they’re here. That’s a good thing.”
The GoFresh Market is sponsored jointly by the YMCA of Greater Springfield, GoFresh Springfield, LiveWell Springfield and a host of local businesses and organizations including Mercy Medical Center, Baystate Health, Springfield Technical Community College, the Public Health Institute of Western Massachusetts, Caring Health Center, Wayfinders and the Springfield Department of Elder Affairs.
SHA Executive Director Denise Jordan said the agency is happy to participate in the farmer’s market.
“We know our residents appreciate having locally grown produce brought right to where they live,” Jordan said. “Everybody loves fresh food, but not everybody can easily make it out to a farmer’s market or for some, even to a grocery store.”
Riley Gilroy, director of the market, said the idea is to bring fresh, locally grown produce to inner-city areas that are considered ‘food deserts, lacking easy access to grocery stores or vegetable stands.
“We like to bring our produce to elderly and underprivileged people who can’t always get to the grocery store,” he said. “We bring what’s in season at the moment, and from as many local farms as possible.”
This year, the GoFresh Mobile Farmer’s Market is working closely with Marty’s Local of Greenfield and Farmer & The Cheese of Hadley, among others.
Besides the four SHA developments, stops are made at the Ray Jordan Senior Center, Baystate High Street Health Center, the Children’s Study Home, Mercy Medical Center, Caring Health Center, the East Springfield City Library branch, Mosque 13, and several private housing developments.
At Gentile Apartments, residents typically line up as the truck unfolds its tray of vegetables, with bags in tow, to pick out treats for their table. That stop is made on Thursday mornings.
“I appreciate this because I can come right outside my home and buy fresh things right from the farm,” said Fermon Rodriguez. “I like the way they stop here. I’ll be back.”
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