The Nashville Mobile Market (NMM) strives to encourage healthier eating habits and decrease incidences of diet-related chronic conditions such as obesity, diabetes, and hypertension. It does this by increasing access to and decreasing cost of healthy foods in food deserts, while also education the community about healthier options.
Through a mobile grocery store route, NMM provides food desert communities with fresh produce, lean meats, dairy, and select non-perishable items. Community residents enter onto the trailer and purchase goods with credit card, cash or SNAP benefits. In addition, recipes cards are available to highlight simple, nutritious options and community kitchens are also held.
The social enterprise approach provides an investigative opportunity for Vanderbilt students and community volunteers alike. Through study of and participation with NMM, students and volunteers are leaning more about the interdisciplinary nature of preventative medicine. Vanderbilt students are researching the program’s effectiveness with regard to influencing the eating habits of community members living in food deserts. This research will hopefully produce a valid, novel method of employing existing community and economic development tools to address the issue of food inequality in Nashville and in the United States.