Although COVID caused us to have to greatly vary from our original plan, we are happy that we have still made progress in our fight against food insecurity in our neighborhood. Originally our project was focused around a mobile vegetable market powered by bicycle. But logistical issues related to COVID made that a difficult method of delivery. But we have shifted to a twice-monthly farmers market, providing locally grown produce. Those markets proved to have similar impact to our original idea.
Those markets have become an established fixture in the neighborhood. We have had the opportunity to provide fresh vegetables to those in need in our community. We also have developed the ability to provide “pop-up” veggie markets, often in conjunction with other events. All of our events are held in open-air format to help accommodate social distancing. While COVID presents a challenge to any activity to which you want to draw a crowd, we are happy that we have successfully adapted to the changing environment and circumstances.
The last of our budget will be spent on permanent signage for the market! We move forward with a new approach, but the same mission: to provide healthier food options to our community. Our thanks to everyone who has supported us on this adventure. We’re proud to have started the effort with you, and now will continue for (hopefully) years to come).
Veggie on the Go Team Leader
It has been a rough year for many of us, but we made it through. Some of our team members left the group due to other pressing priorities and a few of us had COVID-19 at the end of the year. You may recall, our project decided to pivot away from the veggie “mobility” via the bike due to Covid concerns, and decided to continue providing an outlet for healthy produce during weekend food markets. Despite the difficulties, we were able to host markets most of the year twice a month. We were not able to host any markets in December or January because of COVID concerns, but we are resuming the markets on 02/13-14/2021 and will continue on the 2nd Saturday or Sunday and 3rd Saturday at the MCV Community House 419 12th St. Because of some of the concerns with COVID we have decided to host most of the markets at the community house with an open air atmosphere and at different locations in the community weather permitting.
We were able to pay it forward with 15 veggie bags, feed our neighbors locally and in Vinton, LA. It’s our hope to continue this journey to provide fresh produce to our community and to one day resuming going out with the veggie bike reaching more of the community. We would like to thank the community for supporting this adventure and we look forward to seeing everyone in 2021.
Veggie on the Go Team Leader
Our project had to be put on hold because of COVID as we felt it was necessary to avoid close contact with our customers. With our Governor opening Phase II, we took the opportunity to host the 1st Sunday Produce, but unfortunately, weather cancelled the event.
Given the challenges, we were able to offer “Veggie Bags” on Facebook starting June 10 and that has been going well. We will be at the McComb Veazey Homegrown Pop-Up Market On June 20th, and our plans are to resume the 1st Sunday Produce on July 5th.
Thank you for allowing our project to help the community.
We have been very busy on our project. We were able to get a vendors trike and a bike trailer custom made but had to buy material to close the wall and floor and we were able to stay within the budget. Everyone who saw the trike and the bike trailer were very excited about it, I even met a gentleman at the gas station who was curious about the trike and offered to help with any welding repairs we may need in the future. I was able to finish closing the bike trailer but I am still working on the trike. The plan is to finish it within the next two weeks if the weather allows.
I got all the licenses needed for the venture. I also opened a square account to accept all credit cards and I applied to accept EBT but I”m still waiting for approval. It’s been difficult getting information from the processing center about what stage the processing is in. They keep stating that it’s in the next stage waiting for the agents decision.
We had our First Sunday Produce on March 1st. It was a success. We had people coming after church, some had seen the Facebook post, some got the flyers we put on cars, and some were just passing by and decided to stop and see what was going on. We had a lot of feedback about the need for fresh produce in the community. We also collected additional funds distributed by the “pay it forward” board to help.
The weather prevented us going out on Monday and Wednesday but I was able to go out with the bike trailer on Friday. I road through the McComb -Veazey Neighborhood and parked on the corner of Louisiana Avenue and Evangeline Thruway. I had a man from Broussard stop by to buy some produce and called his wife who came by to buy also and went live on Facebook to promote the project. The first run with the bike trailer was a little difficult dealing with the wind and the load, so I will have a lighter load when going out with the bike trailer.
I was approached to start a market on the second and third Sundays at the corner of Madeline Ave and University and on the parking of the Family Dollar on Carmel Ave. I’m waiting for approval from the groups to start. We have a Facebook page called Veggies on the Go, an email account and an internet account. We also have a phone number. I will be updating the Facebook account with the email, internet and phone number soon.
Besides having a set back with the trike and getting approved to accept the EBT card everything is moving along smoothly. It is my hope to continue this project after the projected end date because there is a need to provide fresh produce in neighborhoods that are located in a food desert. Thank you for funding this project.
Team Veggie on the Go
We at Veggies on the Go are hard at work with our project. Everything is flowing smoothly except for the bike and trailer. We could not find a bike and trailer within our budget so I did some research and found a gentleman in New Orleans who’s custom making them for us.
We put in the application to accept the EBT card and also created an account to be able to accept different forms of payment. I created a l3c for the project it’s called Veggies on the Go l3c. A l3c company is considered a low non-profit organization. Michelle is creating our pay it forward board along with healthy information. Kimba is creating our healthy menu’s.
I created a Facebook page and got a web page name. The name on Facebook is Veggies on the Go, I’ve been posting helpful articles and letting everyone know about our project. I also created VeggiesontheGo.org, I haven’t posted to it yet because I’m still learning about this process, but will start soon. Since the growing season for okra is over I harvested some of the okra, dried them and created some seed pack to give to customer so that they may grow their own okra.
I’ve been going to the Makers Market at the library creating decals and coasters to give to future customers. I will also be making signage and aprons for our project. I’m in the process branding our project.
The bike and trailer was ordered today the gentleman in New Orleans will have the trailer ready within two weeks and the bike by the end of January. We had to get McComb Veazy Coterie to advance a check to pay for the bike until the checks are disburse.
When we receive the check we will reimburse the McComb Veazy Coterie the money they advance for the bike and also order the POS system and get the insurance.
We will be working on the routes and the plans to kick of our first Sunday Produce is on schedule. First Sunday Produce will be at the corner of 12th St and Magnolia St. the morning of March 1, 2020. We will have produce to sell along with samples of the produce and helpful information and menus. Our team would like to thank the Community and the 24HCP for supporting us. We are very honored to have been chosen to help our community.