Fresh food is making its way back to MARTA stations beginning this week.
The transit service’s Fresh MARTA Markets will return to five MARTA stations —Bankhead, College Park, Five Points, Hamilton E. Holmes and West End — starting Tuesday.
MARTA first launched the markets in 2015 as a way to address food deserts in low-income communities throughout Atlanta. Food deserts are defined as low-income communities lacking a grocery store in a one-mile radius from its neighborhood.
In 2017, 36 percent of Atlanta was classified as a food desert, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. A quarter of Atlanta residents have to travel more than a half-mile to get fresh fruits and vegetables.
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"We realize all communities don't have adequate access to fresh and affordable produce," MARTA General Manager and CEO Jeffrey Parker said in a press release. "These markets…are a fresh food resource for entire communities. We’re bridging the nutritional gap from the convenience of our rail stations."
The markets — whose sponsors include the Atlanta Community Food Bank, Open Hand and Wholesome Wave Georgia — Community Farmers Markets, Organix Matters, and Food Oasis Atlanta will provide fresh produce once a week from now through the first week of December.
All markets accept cash, credit and debit cards, and Electronic Benefit Transfer(EBT)/Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). At the markets, SNAP will be doubled, which means $5 swiped is $10 to spend.
Here is the schedule for the Fresh MARTA Markets:
3 to 7 p.m. Tuesday – West End MARTA station
3 to 7 p.m. Wednesday – Bankhead and Hamilton E. Holmes MARTA stations
3 to 7 p.m. Thursday – College Park MARTA station
3 to 7 p.m. Friday – Five Points MARTA station
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