The Virtua Mobile Farmers Market recently celebrated a successful first year -- feeding 8,000 families in underserved South Jersey communities with 35,000 pounds of fresh produce.
To commemorate the milestone, the Mobile Market held a birthday party at the Winslow Shopping Center in Sicklerville – one of its regular weekly stops.
Visitors received a healthy muffin –topped with a birthday candle – and a free bag of fresh produce. They played games and won prizes, including Virtua drawstring backpacks. And Virtua dietitians were on hand to provide nutrition tips and healthy recipes.
“We’ve accomplished so much in our first year,” said Suzanne Ghee, Virtua Assistant Vice President of Business Growth and Community Health Engagement. “This program is reducing hunger and increasing intake of fruits and vegetables in vulnerable communities – which will ultimately improve people’s health.”
The year-round market visits about seven sites weekly, including locations in Burlington City, Camden and Westampton, as well as Sicklerville. It sells produce at below-wholesale prices, increasing access to nutritious foods.
Whole Foods Market is the program’s exclusive produce vendor. The program is funded primarily by the Virtua Foundation, the fundraising arm of the nonprofit Virtua health system. To learn more about the Foundation, call (856) 355-0830.
The Mobile Market’s Facebook page provides market updates, healthy recipes, cooking tips and more. Visitwww.facebook.com/VirtuaMobileFarmersMarket or the program’s webpage at www.virtua.org/MobileMarket.
As one of New Jersey’s largest, non-profit health systems, Virtua provides comprehensive health care services to achieve its mission to help people be well, get well and stay well. Virtua provides services through Virtua Medical Group with 500 physicians and other clinicians, and at its urgent care centers, hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, health and wellness centers, fitness centers, home health services, long-term care and rehabilitation centers, and paramedic program. A leader in maternal and child health services, Virtua delivers nearly 8,000 babies a year. It provides health services to 1,500 businesses, and participates in Virtua Physician Partners, a clinically integrated network of 1,000 physicians and other clinicians. Virtua is affiliated with Penn Medicine for cancer and neuroscience and the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) for pediatrics. It employs over 9,000 and has been honored as the #1 Best Place to Work in the Delaware Valley many times since 2007. It is the recipient of a 4-star rating from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for quality of care, and its hospitals earned straight A’s in patient safety by The Leapfrog Group and the 2016 Patient Safety Award from Healthgrades. U.S. News and World Report ranked Virtua’s Mount Holly and Voorhees hospitals as High Performing Hospitals and Voorhees as a Best Regional Hospital. Virtua is also the recipient of the Consumer Choice Award from the National Research Corporation. For more information, visit www.virtua.org or www.virtuabroadcastnetwork.org.