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'Farm on Wheels' Heads to City 'Food Deserts'

In Richmond, Va., Mark Lilly is taking local food to the people who need it most: those who can't get it themselves. Read Transcript


Reporter: EARLY IN THE

MORNING, MARK LILY DRIVES

HIS FARMERS' MARKET ON

WHEELS FROM RICHMOND,

VIRGINIA, TO THE

COUNTRYSIDE.

HE STOPS AT A NUMBER OF

FAMILY FARMS TO PICK UP THE

FOOD HE'LL SELL A LITTLE

LATER WHEN HE RETURNS TO THE

CITY.

AND TALK ABOUT FRESH, THESE

MELONS WERE ON THE VINE AT

SUNRISE AND WILL BE ON

SOMEONE'S DINNER TABLE AT

SUNSET.

MOST TIMES IT IS NOT

SPRAYED WITH HEAVY

CHEMICALS.

AND IT'S VERY LOW INTENSIVE

FARMING.

IT IS NOT INDUSTRIALIZED

FARMING.

THERE IS NOT A WHOLE LOT OF

PESPESTICIDES OR

HERBICIDES.

THE SMALLER FARMS ARE

ROTATING THEIR CROPS.

THE SOIL HAS MORE NUTRIENTS

IN IT.

Reporter: LOCAL PRODUCE

IS ALSO HEALTHY BECAUSE IT

IS PICKED RIPE WHEN VITAMINS

ARE AT THEIR PEAK.

ON THE OTHER HAND, PRODUCE

THAT IS SHIPPED LONG

DISTANCES IS PICKED EARLY

AND OFTEN SPRAYED WITH

CHEMICAL RIPEN ERS.

THEY PUT ALL KINDS OF

PRESERVATIVES AND ADDITIVES

ON THE FOOD.

I'VE EVEN HEARD OF THEM

SPRAY PAINTING THE FOOD TO

GIVE IT COLOR.

Reporter: AND MARK ALSO

GOES LOCAL FOR DAIRY,

LIVESTOCK AND POULTRY.

IT TAKES LESS FUEL TO

TRANSPORT THE FOOD FROM FARM

TO MARKET.

THE FARTHEREST THAT MARK

TRAVELS IS 150 MILES FOR

PURE MAPLE SYRUP AND

ORGANIC, WHOLE GRAIN BREAD.

THEN AFTER HE COLLECTS THE

FOOD, HE HEADS BACK TO THE

CITY, THE INNER CITY.

THIS ROVING FARMERS' MARKET

MAKES ITS STOPS IN SO-CALLED

FOOD DESERTS, URBAN AREAS

WHERE THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE

WITHOUT TRANSPORTATION LIVE

MORE THAN A MILE FROM A

GROCERY STORE.

HERE FOLKS HAVE LITTLE

CHOICE BUT TO BUY WHATEVER

UNHEALTHY PROCESSED FOOD IS

IS AVAILABLE AT A

CONVENIENCE STORE NEXT TO

THE CIGARETTES AND LOTTERY

TICKETS.

YOU ALL WANT TO EAT SOME

FRESH VEGETABLES?

YES.

I HAVE A WHOLE BUS FULL

OF STUFF.

I THINK IT IS A BLESSING

FOR CERTAIN PEOPLE.

BECAUSE EVERYBODY DON'T HAVE

A RIDE.

AND THIS IS MORE HEALTHY.

Reporter: MARK TEACHES

HIS COSTUMERS ABOUT WHAT HE

SELLS AND WHAT HE DOESN'T.

I'VE HAD A LOT OF PEOPLE

ASK ME FOR BANANAS AND

PINEAPPLES, AND ALL KINDS OF

STUFF THAT DOESN'T EVEN GROW

IN VIRGINIA.

THERE IS A WHOLE EDUCATION

PROCESS THAT PEOPLE HAVE TO

ADOPT.

Reporter: AND HE

TEACHES THEM HOW TO COOK

FOODS THEY DON'T NORMALLY

PUT ON THEIR TABLE.

YOU PUT IT IN THE OVEN

FOR ABOUT 45 MINUTES ON 350,

375.

Reporter: HE ACCEPTS

FOOD STAMPS AND IS SO

PASSIONATE ABOUT

DISTRIBUTING HEALTHY FOOD HE

SOMETIMES JUST GIVES IT

AWAY.

HE HAS EVEN GOTTEN THE

ATTENTION OF CITY LEADERS.

I THINK IT IS A MARVELOUS

IDEA.

IT REALLY HELPS TO EDUCATE

THE POPULATION, GIVE THEM AN

OPPORTUNITY TO HAVE ACCESS

TO REALLY FRESH FRUITS AND

VEGETABLES THAT THEY MIGHT

NOT NORMALLY BE ABLE TO GET

TO IN SOME OF THE BETTER-END

CITY MARKETS.

Reporter: VISITING

RETIRING HOMES IS ALSO A

PRIORITY BECAUSE ESPECIALLY

NEED A HEALTHY MARKET.

I THINK IT IS A BEAUTIFUL

THING BECAUSE YOU'VE GOT

PEOPLE IN HERE WHO ARE

DIABETIC, AND THEY CAN COME

OUT AND GET FRESH

VEGETABLES, AND IT'S

ORGANIC.

IT IS HARD FOR US TO GET

TO THE STORE.

IF WE DO GET TO THE STORE,

WE'VE GOT TO CATCH TWO

BUSES, AND WE'VE GOT TO

CATCH TWO BUSES BACK.

I BELIEVE THIS IS REALLY

WONDERFUL.

Reporter: MARK HAS BEEN

DOING THIS FOR FOUR YEARS.

HE GOT THE IDEA MANY YEARS

AGO, BUT NEEDED THE PROPER

MOTIVATION TO BEGIN.

I WAS FORTUNATE.

I GOT FIRED FROM MY JOB.

THAT WAS THE BEST THING THAT

EVER HAPPENED TO ME.

Reporter: MARK HAD A

BIG DREAM TO TAKE HEALTHY

FOOD TO PEOPLE WHO DON'T

NORMALLY GET IT.

BUT HE HAD A SMALL BUDGET,

SO HE BOUGHT THIS OLD CHURCH

BUS FOR $3600 OFF OF

CRAIGSLIST.

WITHIN A MONTH, HE WAS ON

THE ROAD AND MADE ENOUGH

MONEY TO SUPPORT HIS

FAMILY.

HE SAYS AMERICA'S CURRENT

FOOD SYSTEM IS

UNSUSTAINABLE.

INSTEAD WAITING FOR

SOMETHING TO COMPLETELY FALL

APART AND COLLAPSE, WE CAN

ACTUALLY TRY TO CHANGE IT

BEFORE THAT HAPPENS.

Reporter: MARK SAYS HE

HAS NEVER WORKED THIS HARD

BUT HAS NEVER BEEN HAPPIER,

KNOWING HIS COSTUMERS DON'T

HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT WHERE

THEIR FOOD COMES FROM.

LORI JOHNSON, CBN NEWS,

RICHMOND, VIRGINIA.

EMBED THIS VIDEO


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