The Vegetarian Detroit Podcast: Episode 3
How are Detroiters getting fresh fruits and vegetables during the pandemic? Patrice Brown, Senior Food Access Manager for Eastern Market talks with Jewell Dziendziel about how the pandemic is changing the way Detroiters are accessing fresh, healthy food. Eastern Market is the nation’s largest, year round, open air, historic market and is a central hub for many Detroiters for groceries and local products.
Once the pandemic hit, Eastern Market noticed a shift from in person shopping to drive up markets and food boxes. The Farm Stand Program, a pop up mobile market, was also impacted during the pandemic. Mobile markets were no longer allowed at hospitals due to safety protocols and corporate sites saw a decrease with employees working from home.
On the bright side, Eastern Market is seeing an increase in programs like SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) & Double Up Food Bucks. These programs, not only help Detroiters get fresh food, but also help farmers make a profit. The Fresh Prescription Program, which Patrice is passionate about, is addressing many of the health disparities in the area. With a “food is medicine” approach, this program allows Detroiters to use a prescription written by their doctor, to buy fruits and vegetables. Patrice also discusses how this program is building trust between patients and doctors.
At the time of this post, Eastern Market is open and operating. Vendors are spaced out, masks are required, and the public is encouraged to spread out while shopping the market. For more info on all things Eastern Market, visit easternmarket.org.
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