The United Way of the Wabash Valley has been operating a Mobile Market since 2013 with the mission to bring fresh fruits and vegetables to Wabash Valley residents in order to promote more healthy eating. The traveling produce market has served thousands of clients over the years but will be ceasing operation on Tuesday, December 17th.
The Mobile Market was a program that was developed by the United Way’s Healthier by 2020 initiative with the goal of decreasing the percentage of adults and children who are obese in our community. With the United Way’s current transition towards a more targeted community approach focusing on struggling working families the Healthier by 2020 initiative will be included in the organization’s Community Health Impact Council moving forward. The Council will have a broader coverage on Community Health my promoting healthy lifestyles, improving access to preventative and behavioral health services with the overall goal of helping to move 10,000 families out of financial struggles and into stability. Based on current resources the United Way will not begin operating the Community Health Impact Council until late 2020.
Richard Payonk, the United Way Executive Director explained, “The United Way still believes in the Mobile Market’s mission but has found it difficult to execute an appointment type shopping experience in today’s environment to the clientele that needs the service the most. This has resulted in a steep decline of patrons to the market over the years. If the volunteers and experts on the Health Impact Council believe that this mission will help struggling working families then a new and fresh approach will be required to tackle this issue in the future.”
The United Way appreciates the support we have been given over the years from the community to execute this program. It would not have been possible without sponsorship from local businesses, donations from the community and countless volunteers who have helped to shape and execute the program. Over the duration of the program, the Mobile Market was supported by Union Health, Baesler’s Market, Clabber Girl, Westminster Village, and Taghleef Industries.