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New community mobile market unveiled in Atlantic City: "Food is not a gift, it's a right"

Atlantic City's AtlantiCare mobile market brings the community together
Atlantic City's AtlantiCare mobile market brings the community together 02:03

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (CBS) — For the first time, Valarie Mack ordered groceries from a mobile market parked not far from her home in Atlantic City, and in a matter of minutes, she walked away with fresh and affordable options for her four grandchildren.

"We got peaches, oranges, I mean fresh fruit," Mack said as she reached into her grocery bags.

AtlantiCare unveiled and opened its new community mobile market Wednesday at Atlantic Cape Community College. It's essentially a grocery store on wheels packed full of fresh produce, meats, and pantry items at affordable prices.

"Atlantic City is definitely a recognized food desert, but what we also see is that there are certain neighborhoods and pockets in Atlantic City where there are no fresh available items at all," said Sam Kiley, VP of Community Health and Social Impact for AtlantiCare. "We're providing subsidized fresh food for the community at an affordable cost to be able to help them extend the benefits they receive and the money they have."

The bright-colored food-truck-style market is now a new option for families. It's also a way AtlantiCare said it's working to help eradicate food insecurity, especially heading into summer when students are out of school.

"Food is not a gift, it's a right, and I think the organization has rallied behind that good health starts with good quality food," said Michael Charlton, the President and CEO of AtlantiCare.

Mack and her grandkids were some of the first shoppers to explore the new options that she said she can't easily buy anywhere else.

"This means that we get to sit down and have some good stuff and it's nice to try new food," Mack said.

The mobile market will be parked at Atlantic Cape Community College every Wednesday throughout the year from noon-2 p.m., and Wednesdays from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Baltic Plaza Apartments starting on June 26.

On top of the new mobile market, the company runs a food pantry on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at the HealthPlex on Atlantic Avenue. Tuesday and Wednesday are appointments only, but on Thursday, the pantry is open from 1-3 p.m.

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