Folks in Marin County should keep their eyes peeled for a new truck in town – one that’s better-looking than most. It’s a beautiful Farmers Market on wheels, making its way to three stops in Marin every Thursday. With a ribbon-cutting ceremony held during National Farmers Week in early August, AIM launched The Rollin’ Root with the goal of reaching low-income older adults with fresh fruits and vegetables at a reasonable price.
“We want to make sure no one gets left behind because of where they live or because they have limited mobility or transportation options,” said Andy Naja-Riese, AIM’s executive director. “Having access to fresh produce is so important for good health and good nutrition, and the Root will make it much easier for older Marin residents and those with disabilities to experience the fresh taste and nutritional benefits of eating locally produced fruits and vegetables.”
The produce and dairy products sold at The Rollin’ Root come from vendors at the Marin Civic Center Farmers Market, with 100 percent of the products – mostly organic – coming directly from local farmers. All products will be sold at prices at or below those in grocery stores, with buyers knowing that they’re reaping the value of fresh food that’s as close to the farm as possible.
The inaugural route will run every Thursday at three locations along the Highway-101 corridor with a focus on low-income older adults:
- Whistlestop Active Aging Center in San Rafael, 9am – 10am
- Marin Valley Mobile Country Club in Novato, 11am – 12pm and
- Maria B. Freitas Senior Community in San Rafael, 3pm – 4pm.
A fourth location in Marin City is planned for September.
Betty, a loyal customer from the Marin Valley Mobile Country Club said, “I appreciate The Rollin’ Root because of the convenience and your fruits and vegetables are fresh.”
Currently, The Rollin’ Root accepts cash and credit cards. Starting Thursday, September 6th, AIM is accepting CalFresh benefits (the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) and will offer a Market Match to CalFresh households up to $10 per day. The Rollin’ Root also accepts Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Bonus Bucks to purchase fruits and vegetables.
AIM thanks the following organizations for the funding they provided to purchase The Rollin’ Root vehicle: the Marin Community Foundation, California Freshworks Fund and Bothin Foundation. Their support will enable us to increase access to fresh, healthy food for all Marin residents, regardless of economic, physical or transportation barriers.
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About The Rollin’ Root
- The Rollin’ Root’s mission is to increase equitable access to fresh, healthy food grown on local farms and to provide nutrition education in underserved communities.
- The Rollin’ Root merges the freshness of the farmers market with the convenience of a food truck. Marin is already home to mobile health clinics, bookmobiles, and Meals on Wheels, and a mobile farmers market is a new slant on these.
- We are making sure that no one gets left behind because of where they live or because they have limited mobility or limited access to transportation.
- More older adults will experience the fresh taste and nutritional benefits of eating local fruits, veggies, and dairy products delivered from the Marin Civic Center farmers market.
Route and Stops
- Our inaugural route will run every Thursday at three senior locations along the Highway-101 corridor with a focus on low-income older adults: Whistlestop Active Aging Center, Marin Valley Mobile Country Club, and Maria B. Freitas Senior Community. AIM plans to add a fourth stop in Marin City by September.
- We will evaluate our program effectiveness and consider all possibilities for future routes and locations, including West Marin, and other communities in the Bay Area.
Products and Pricing
- AIM will source 100 % of products, mostly organic, directly from local farmers that participate at AIM’s farmers’ markets.
- The Root is stocked with apples, avocados, berries, cucumbers, leafy greens, herbs, mushrooms, onions, potatoes, tomatoes, yogurt, and more.
- All products will be offered for sale at price points at or below local grocery stores.
- We currently accept cash and credit. We will be able to accept CalFresh benefits (the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) and offer a Market Match to CalFresh households up to $10 per day, along with WIC Fruit and Vegetable checks, and Senior Bonus Bucks soon.
Partnerships and Funding
- AIM is partnering with Marin Health and Human Services, the Marin Food Policy Council, the SF-Marin Food Bank, the Interfaith Sustainable Food Collaborative, ExtraFood.org, and others to increase access to fresh, healthy food for all residents, regardless of economic status.
- The vehicle was purchased with funding provided by the Marin Community Foundation, California Freshworks Fund, and Boithin Foundation.
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