MoGro Store will be featured during the market on Saturday, November 16th from 8 am to 1 pm
On November 16th the Mobile Grocery (MoGro) Store will showcase at the Santa Fe Farmer’s Market, featuring a 50 foot temperature controlled truck that provides weekly access to healthy, affordable food in communities that currently lack access to full service markets. Communities that are located far from grocery stores are known as food deserts and face major barriers to eating healthy. To help address these challenges, MoGro brings the food to them.
Partnering with the John’s Hopkins Center for American Indian Health (JHCAIH), Notah Begay III Foundation, La Montañita Co-op, and with funding from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Newman’s Own Foundation, and the US Department of Agriculture, MoGro now reaches five Pueblos and one non-native rural community in New Mexico. Since January 2013, MoGro sales have almost doubled, and there is tremendous enthusiasm from the six participating communities.
MoGro was founded by former Sysco Foods CEO Rick Schnieders and his wife Beth as an innovation to overcome barriers to affordability and access to healthy foods in economically distressed communities, starting with Native Americans. Mr. Schnieders recalls, “We started by initiating conversations with the elders and leaders in the Native American communities to get a sense of what they thought the problems were and what solutions should be explored. It became clear that families did not have ready access to healthy, affordable food.” With input from the partnering tribal communities, a mobile grocery store was born, bringing a full range of healthy affordable food to underserved rural areas.
In addition to food access, MoGro partner JHCAIH works with participating Pueblos to develop community-based health nutrition and fitness education including cooking classes to support the health and well-being of Pueblo children and families. Soon JHCAIH will also evaluate the impact of the MoGro Store on food access, nutrition, health and economic outcomes, informing local and national policy recommendations.
In June of 2013 the Santa Fe Community Foundation assumed ownership and management oversight of MoGro, as long-term transition plans are made for potential tribal ownership. The Foundation is a natural home for MoGro, as President & CEO Brian T. Byrnes notes, “MoGro is the result of extraordinary philanthropic leadership on the part of Rick and Beth Schnieders. This kind of project exemplifies a bold effort to change the systems that perpetuate human suffering by creatively bringing to the table entrepreneurship, a value for health equity, and a significant commitment of time, talent, and treasure. By giving MoGro a home at the Santa Fe Community Foundation, Rick and Beth are doing their part in building out a vast and growing network for good in our region.”
To share this healthy food access project with the broader community, the MoGro Store will be appearing at the Santa Fe Farmer’s Market on Saturday November 16th from 8 am – 1 pm.
Founded in 1981, the Santa Fe Community Foundation is a tax-exempt public charity. It is devoted to building healthy and vital communities where racial, cultural or economic differences do not limit access to health, education or employment; diverse audiences enjoy the many arts and cultural heritages of our region; and all sectors of our community take responsibility for ensuring a healthy environment. The Santa Fe Community Foundation manages over $65 million in total assets.