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Friday, September 21, 2012

Mobile Grocery Truck Making Its Way Down to Old Town

Posted by Alex Zielinski on Fri, Sep 21, 2012 at 10:29 AM

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  • My Street Grocery

Come Monday, Portlanders facing homelessness or struggling poverty (or anyone who's just plain hungry) will find a new oasis in the food desert of Old Town Chinatown: My Street Grocery. The mini grocery-on-wheels has joined with Central City Concern to provide inexpensive, nutritious, and accessible groceries to a neighborhood teeming with social services support centers but lacking in reasonably priced—and healthy!—food.

"It's either Whole Foods in the Pearl, or fried food from the convenience stores," says Adrienne Karecki, director of business enterprises at CCC. "The cart's food will provide tasty, fresh, and cheap options for people in the area."

The My Street Grocery truck took off in May, with weekly routes to grocery-isolated neighborhoods, senior residences, and other lower-income areas. Alongside traditional grocery wares (like milk, bread, eggs), the cart sells in-season local produce, as well as individual $3/serving "Meal Kits" packed with all someone needs for a filling and nutritious meal.

Monday, Sept. 24 at 1:30 p.m. marks the truck's first visit to a garage on Broadway and NW Couch, near Central City Concern’s sprawling set of buildings. Although owner Amelia Pape had wanted to expand the route to the Old Town for a while, she waited until her business could accept food stamps to better meet the needs of lower-income customers.

"Our mission has always been expanding fresh food access to all," Pape said. "This demographic is an integral part to our goal."

CCC is giving the My Street Grocery route a monthlong run to see if it's a feasible offering for its clientele. If the route is successful, Karecki says, CCC will consider funding a portion of the program. Stop by Monday's opening to find out more.

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