Kicking Off Summer with Mobile Boise Farmers Market 

click to enlarge - The Mobile Market parked at the Latah Village Apartments -  - HARRISON BERRY
  • Harrison Berry
  • The Mobile Market parked at the Latah Village Apartments
Eileen Stachowski was glad to be out of the sun. After two hours in record-breaking heat at Oak Park Village on June 8, she'd driven the Boise Farmers Market's Mobile Market to the more temperate, tree-shaded Latah Village apartments to sell market-fresh produce. 

"We believe local food should be available to all Idahoans. And systematically, it's not," Stachowski said. 

The Mobile Market sources produce from Boise Farmers Market suppliers, then takes it to six areas across Boise Mondays-Thursdays. following the lead of Boise Parks and Recreation's Mobile Recreation Van.

The Boise City Council green-lighted $20,000 on June 2, to match dollar for dollar up to $10 in purchases made at the Mobile Market with EBT cards. According to Stachowski, the first three purchases made at the Mobile Market were made using food stamp benefits, and Stachowski said that just under 20 purchases were made at its first stop alone.

Having looked at data from similar markets around the country, Stachowski and Farmers Market representatives said it's possible that ultimately, more than 25 percent of purchases made at the Mobile Market could be made using food stamps.

"People were really excited about the food stamp match," she said.

At its first appearance, the Mobile Market was stocked with kale, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, cabbage, turnips and snap peas from seven different Farmers Market suppliers including two Global Gardens vendors, Peaceful Belly, Next Generation Organics and H&H Farms. By the end of summer, Stachowski said she expects 15-20 vendors to be participating in the program. 

The Mobile Market appears Mondays from 3-5 p.m. at Oak Park Village and from 6-7:30 p.m. at Latah Village Apartments; Tuesdays from 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. at Redwood Park; Wednesdays from 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. at Veterans Memorial Park and from 6-7:30 p.m. at Northwest Pointe Apartments; and Thursdays from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at Winstead Park through August 21.
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