LEAP for Local Food!
This year, funds raised through Roanoke Valley Gives will support the LEAP Mobile Market and our popular Senior Incentive Program. Your support will help us keep serving Melrose Towers residents with vouchers for fresh, healthy produce and expand our services. We also want to expand the Senior Incentive Program to additional senior housing sites, and we want to continue to offer free transportation for seniors to come to the West End Farmers Market during the winter months.
The innovative LEAP Mobile Market brings local produce (grown within 100 miles) to Roanoke neighborhoods where it is hard to buy fresh produce. In 2017, we purchased and built out the efficient and amazingly-integrated market display in our 16-foot box truck! At our 10 weekly stops in 2017, we sold lots of local produce and served nearly 3,000 individuals in low-income and "food desert" neighborhoods. And for 2018, we'll be expanding to even more stops each week in Southeast and Northwest Roanoke!
One of our most-loved stops has to be Melrose Towers. We visit this 200+ unit senior housing center each week and serve seniors on fixed incomes, many of whom also have mobility issues and therefore a difficult time getting to the grocery store. Each week, participating low-income seniors get a $5 voucher to help bolster their food budget. They love shopping for greens, fruits, vegetables, and eggs, and we love driving the Mobile Market up to Melrose Towers to a line of seniors ready for fresh food!
Like all our markets, the Mobile Market participates in our Healthy Food Incentive Program. We accept and double the value of SNAP benefits (formerly food stamps) - so $1 in SNAP = $2 tokens to spend on fresh food! We also double the buying power of Medicaid Members in the same way. In 2017, the LEAP Markets sold over $33,000 in local food using Healthy Food Incentives!
Check out our website to hear from a few Melrose Towers residents who have benefitted from the LEAP Mobile Market and the Senior Incentive Program!