Fresh groceries on the go: Mobile Market returns with easy access to local produce

From left celebrate Dr. Greg Baxter, President of Elliot Health System, Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig and Boys and Girls Club Director Diane Fitzpatrick, the ORIS Mobile Market soft start for 2023. Photo/Carol Robidoux

MANCHESTER, NH – In a week there will be an abundance of fruit and veg in the city with the return of the ORIS Mobile Market.

As a taster, the peasant stand on wheels pulled up outside the Boys and Girls Club of Manchester on Wednesday, but the extendable arms holding up the concession window were no match for the blustery wind.

So baskets full of avocados, bunches of bananas and trays of strawberries and blueberries were transported to the clubhouse to celebrate a moment of thanksgiving and gratitude for partnerships that strengthen a community.

“That’s how we turn around,” said Diane Fitzpatrick, director of the Boys and Girls Club, of the quick fix installation. ORIS Managing Director Mukhtar Idhow, left, and Dr. Greg Baxter from Elliot Health System. Photo/Carol Robidoux

“This is a transformational program when you think about it,” Fitzpatrick said. “We talk about food deserts, we talk about food insecurity – we break down the barriers and make it possible for our families. Every week families get this awesome little coupon,” she said, holding up a blue piece of paper worth $30 for items in the cart. “It’s pretty exciting to see the kids go shopping for fresh blueberries and strawberries.”

Once again, the Boys and Girls Club is working with Solution Health/Elliot Health System and Fresh Start Farms to support the program in Manchester and Concord.

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These partners were announced on Wednesday by Dr. Greg Baxter, President of Elliot Health System, and Mukhtar Idhow, Executive Director of ORIS (Organization for Reguree and Immigrant Success), which runs the Fresh Start Farms program.

Officially opening May 24, the Mobile Market connects New Hampshire farmers and communities with limited access to locally grown produce and healthy foods.

Fresh fruit and vegetables are brought to those who otherwise might not have easy access to the produce. Photo/Carol Robidoux

Baxter said the partnership — and the way it is improving people’s lives by reducing hunger and ensuring nutrition — is “heartwarming and refreshing.”

The program also brings together local volunteers who reach out to families during mobile market hours at the clubhouse to help with Medicaid and SNAP enrollment. The ORIS Mobile Market will be circulating in the city from May 24th. Photo/Carol Robidoux

“Access to food is so important to this community and I am grateful for your support,” Idhow said of the food-focused partnership. “Programs like this are more important now than ever.”

The Mobile Market program launched in Manchester in 2019 and has expanded to nine regular stops across Manchester and Concord, as well as various pop-up events throughout the summer, with seasonal fruit, vegetables and other local produce available for purchase on each side.

The Mobile Market will be open from May 24th to October 6th, 2023, whatever the weather. All are welcome to stop by and buy products. ORIS Mobile Market

Time schedule

Manchester, NH every Wednesday

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12pm-1pm Burns Apartments 2pm-3pm Kelley Falls 4pm-6pm Manchester Boys & Girls Club

Concord, NH every Thursday

10:00 – 11:00 Horseshoe Pond Place 12:00 – 13:00 Crutchfield Apartments 2-3cp.m. Eagle’s Bluff

Manchester, NH every Friday

11am – 12pm O’Malley Apartments 1pm – 2pm Henry J. Pariseau Apartments 3pm – 4pm Elmwood Gardens