Atlanta Mobile Market

Imagine if... all Atlantans had access  to fresh food sources 

Karlyn Wilson is the Executive Director of The Atlanta Mobile Market (AMM). 

AMM is an emerging non-profit, social enterprise that aims to increase access to local, fresh, and healthy foods for areas in the metro Atlanta region through a mobile market. AMM also uses education as a tool to improve outcomes by providing healthy eating and cooking demonstrations. Ultimately, they want to create affordable access to healthy foods, employ community members, and provide leadership opportunities connected to health and food literacy.

In 2011 Karlyn attended a community project in Bankhead where residents used photographs to document the state of their neighborhood. Unfortunately, blight, neglect, and substandard food outlets were some of the common concerns that community members captured through the images. Karlyn says, “I was outraged by the institutional failures, especially those related to food access”. 

Since that time, Karlyn has been moved to action. And in 2014, AMM launch a pilot market that sought to make fresh produce accessible to Vine City residents.  Over the course of 14 Saturdays, AMM set up at the Urban Perform community gym. They offered a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, with nearly 50% sourced from local growers. In an effort to increase convenience, they accepted cash, credit, and SNAP benefits. Customer using SNAP benefits were given double value on their dollars so that $1 SNAP could buy $2 of produce. The market featured periodic medical screenings, cooking demonstrations and a childrens play area.  In all, nearly 1,000 customers visited the market and bought over 10,000 pounds of produce. 

Karlyn is at heart a community activist and sees this work as a challenge to improve health outcomes in some of Atlanta’s most food-isolated communities. She says “the Atlanta Mobile Market is the outreach opportunity of a lifetime. We use food as a mobilizing tool to build social, economic, and intellectual capital within communities”. AMM believes it is imperative to transfer skills and knowledge to people through service oriented activities. For Karlyn and the team, the hard work is all rooted in the belief that everyone should have access to nutritious, high quality food, regardless of race, class, education, or geographic location.  

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