New Fresh Food Bus takes riders from campus to farmers market
A new on-campus bus route will take riders from the University of Georgia campus to the Athens Farmers Market at Bishop Park this fall. The Fresh Food Bus will operate each Saturday (excluding UGA home football game Saturdays) through Dec. 19.
The bus route will include stops at Building S of Family and Graduate Housing, Memorial Hall, the Athens Multi-Modal Center and Russell Hall on the Health Sciences Campus. The bus will run from 8:15 a.m. until 12:15 p.m. with hourly stops at the farmers market. The complete bus route is available at http://sustainability.uga.edu/freshfoodbus.
The new route aims to make fresh, healthy foods more accessible to students and community members, and to increase participation in the SNAP Double-Value Coupon Program.
"The Fresh Food Bus is so important to me because I believe that knowing where your food comes from is extremely important," said Morgan King, a sophomore from Kennesaw majoring in social work. "Having the opportunity to buy locally should be an option for everyone. I understand the difficulties that come from not having one's own transportation, but lack of a car should not limit Athens citizens from enjoying local, healthy food. I fully believe we are what we eat, and I want every citizen to have the opportunity to give their body the best fuel that they can while also practicing sustainable consuming habits."
The Fresh Food Bus's first rider was Athens resident Iesha Bennett, who brought her three children along to the farmers market.
"It's awesome," she said. "I've been wanting to get to the farmers market for the longest time. It's been so hard because it's hectic with the kids in the morning and with the other buses I wouldn't get there until just before the market ends. It feels so good to meet the people who grow my food. I think it tastes better because I know they grow it with care. If they keep this up, I'll keep coming."
The program, a partnership between the Athens Farmers Market, Wholesome Wave Georgia, Athens Transit, UGA Campus Transit and the UGA Office of Sustainability, is made possible through the support of Wholesome Wave Georgia's strategic food accessibility initiatives. Other collaborators include UGA Food Services, UGA Housing, Student Government Association, Students for Environmental Action and Real Food UGA.