Published July 26, 2019
A University at Buffalo researcher’s Veggie Van project is revving up its engine.
The innovative mobile produce market study has announced funding for nine organizations — including two in Buffalo — across four states that it will partner with over the next few years.
The UB Veggie Van will help each organization either start or expand a mobile produce market. Each of the nine partners will operate their markets in up to four neighborhoods in their area for a total of 32 community sites that will be studied.
“We want to know if having these mobile markets in communities that have limited access to fresh produce leads to changes in what people are eating,” said Dr. Lucia Leone, assistant professor of community health and health behavior in University at Buffalo School of Health and Health Professions. and the principal investigator on the study.
Funding amounts varied by organization, with a maximum of $50,000 to offset the cost of starting new market sites and participating in the research study, which is being funded in part by the National Cancer Institute. The Veggie Van team will also provide software and technical assistance to the partner organizations.
The research team received more than 50 applications when it solicited proposals from interested agencies across the country last fall. Finalists were invited to Buffalo to meet with researchers and the selection committee that ultimately chose the nine organizations receiving funding.
The Veggie Van awarded funding to two Buffalo mobile markets: Massachusetts Avenue Project (MAP) and Urban Fruits and Veggies.