Twice a week youth members of Mandela Marketplace’s WYSE Team deliver fresh fruits and vegetables to two corner stores in West Oakland. Their hard work, unwavering dedication, and tasty produce are laying the groundwork for a healthier community.
As part of the Food to Families (F2F) program, BBC partners Mandela Marketplace and West Oakland Health Center are collaborating to provide fresh produce to pregnant women, and provide youth employment opportunities. Mandela Marketplace employs youth who are natives of West Oakland to recruit stores into their Healthy Neighborhood Store Alliance (HNSA), and provides them with fresh produce to sell. West Oakland Health Center writes a prescription and provides coupons for fresh produce for pregnant women. These coupons can be redeemed for fresh fruits and veggies in local stores.
Mandela MarketPlace’s WYSE team are learning valuable skills in customer service, business, and leadership, along with serving the greater purpose of improving community health through increasing access to fresh produce. Twice a week the WYSE team loads up a trailer mounted on a bicycle with a myriad of delicious options like tomatoes, lemons, avocados and other produce, and pedals their way to Millennium Market and Bottles Liquor located in the heart of West Oakland. They stock, price and provide quality control for the store owners. Soon pregnant women from the neighborhood will be arriving to trade coupons from West Oakland Health Center for the fresh produce.
Food to Families is addressing health inequities in West Oakland and Ashland-Cherryland by addressing nutrition during pregnancy, building a healthy economy through youth employment, and expanding access to fresh produce in a food desert. Check out the photos of the WYSE team in action.
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Communications Intern, ACPHD