Health on Wheels

The Lempert Report
June 23, 2014

A young entrepreneur has teamed up with Wholefoods to bring fresh, healthy foods to communities in Portland.

“My Street Grocery” is essentially a health food store on wheels designed specifically to provide access to healthy foods to people who may otherwise be limited by distance or cost. The concept came from Amelia Pape, a grad student at Portland State University, and after an initial startup she approached Whole Foods to partner with her.

Stocked full of healthy goods  from Wholefoods, and using the market's 365 Everyday Value to lessen the cost barrier, this mobile grocery stores offers anything from as meat to fresh produce to dairy and juice. The shelves are lined with whole grain pasta, dried fruit and soups. Fresh produce, nuts and cereal sit on tables and shelves outside. The trolley is open to the public four days a week, and the location varies by day. The store accepts cash, card and food stamps.

Produce is priced per item instead of per pound to help shoppers understand what they'll be paying.  Conveniently located signs encourage shoppers to ask for recipe ideas and offer simple preparation suggestions, such as "eat with or without the skin." For many people, this idea might make the difference between eating healthy and not. It's the kind of community outreach that retailers should be looking to tap into. Making healthy produce and food accessible, not only in terms of location but also in cost breaks should be a goal for all supermarkets.