YMCA's 'Veggie Van' is offering help with eating healthy

YMCAs across the Greater Tampa Bay are working together with Feeding Tampa Bay to bring fresh produce and healthy food choices to local “food deserts.” 

A “food desert” is an area located at least one mile from the nearest supermarket, supercenter, or large grocery store in urban areas and more than ten miles in rural areas. YMCAs officials said many people living in those areas don’t have reliable transportation to get to the nearest grocery store, and bring enough food items back home with them. 

That's where the YMCA Veggie Van enters to ease stress on local families during the COVID-19 pandemic by bringing the fresh produce to them. The Veggie Van is a mobile food pantry stocked with fresh produce packages ready-to-hand out to local families.

The packages typically cost $1, but officials with the YMCA are waving fees for families while everyone deals with the financial strain caused by the coronavirus.

The Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA, YMCA of the Suncoast and YMCA of Greater St. Petersburg are working with Feeding Tampa Bay, local school districts and other organizations to help provide fresh food to families across Greater Tampa Bay. 

The Veggie Van can be found at several YMCA locations including in Tampa Heights, Sulphur Springs, Plant City, Dover, TGH Healthpark, Wimauma and Lacoochee. No ID, paperwork or pre-screening required. Community food distributions takes place every two weeks on a rotating basis.

LINK: For more information of the Veggie Van, and it’s stops, head over to Plan Hillsborough's website or contact Lauren Reyes by email, Lauren.Reyes@tampaymca.org, or call 813-867-5440.