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Mobile Mercado creates Oasis in food deserts

The truck operated by the San Antonio Food bank gives residents access to fresh foods.

SAN ANTONIO — A food desert in the heart of the city saw some much-needed relief when the San Antonio Food Bank set up its Mobile Mercado on the south side Wednesday morning.

A little brown truck drew a lot of people to the parking lot of Community Medicare Partners at 2121 Pleasanton Road.

“You can go inside the truck; it is like a mini grocery store. And there it's client choice” Food Bank Mobile Mercado Manager Ana Chavez.

“So, they get to shop, whatever produce they want,” she said.

Chavez said the program began in 2016 to bring fresh produce to food deserts in San Antonio. This is the first time they've been to this location.

"I mean, it's a big, big help for all of us here in the south side though" said local resident Daniel Sampayo.

Sampayo was one of several people who came out for this event hosted by HealthTexas Medical Group.

We're giving out free produce to our community healthy, healthy foods,” said Henry Naranjo

“By doing this, we help the community and also keep them healthy by educating them what to eat,” he said.

The official start time was 10 A.M., but people started lining up two hours ahead of time for access to the fresh, nutritious food.

Most of them are seniors. So that means they have lack of transportation, they're probably only receiving Social Security,” said Chavez. “And so, they're trying to find good locations for them to get the public the needs that they must.”

Seniors were the focus of the Mercado, but residents of all ages showed up.

“Typically, we focus on our seniors, you know, 55, and over 60. And over, but you know, we're not going to turn anybody away.” Naranjo said

Sampayo was not only thankful for the food but encouraged to see this kind of help coming to his community.

"This is San Antonio helping San Antonians,” Sampayo said. “Which is the best part about it. It's awesome."

The San Antonio Food bank posts where it's Mobile Mercado truck will be on their website. 

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