MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) - The lack of access to nutritious food is a reality for many people in Middle Georgia, making it one of the top five health issues in the area according to Community Health Works. One group has taken the problem into their own hands one van ride at a time.
"What you actually find in these low income neighborhoods is a lot of them do their shopping at corner stops," said Chris Kiker, Community Health Works.
The neighborhood store may provide convenience, but the value of nutrition and health is often obsolete.
"His name is larry he lives with his mother she's in her 90's both of them are disabled, they don't have transportation. They have to get people to carry them places," explained Kiker.
"Look for them every week, said Larry Herring, Macon resident.
The veggie van has become a life line for Larry Herring and his mother Myrtle Boone.
"Rolls around rain or shine," explained Herring.
They know every Thursday there's affordable food coming their way and it's healthy.
"Make sure we get a good nutrition in your stomach," said Herring.
The veggie van is driving the distance to USDA food deserts
"It's a calculation based on income level for a family, distance from a grocery store that kind of thing," said Kiker.
The veggie van loads up produce from local vendors, purchased by Community Health Works, and delivers it to about 15 families for a 50% discount thanks to a partnership with Wholesome Wave Georgia.
"We want to become kind of like a mobile grocery store," said Kiker.
The fresh fruits, veggies and meats provide more than health, it's a nutrition lesson that organizers hope will be passed down to generations.
There are food deserts all over Middle Georgia. In the future the plan is to get the veggie van into those communities and open up its doors for people to come and get nutritious foods. If you think you're in a food desert and want to know if the veggie can can come your way, call Community Health Works at (478) 254-5214.