When we say that food access is central to the mission of Cultivate KC, what we mean is that everyone in our community should have access to the highest quality foods, including fresh, locally grown produce and farm products.
To date, the majority of Cultivate KC’s work has addressed disparities in the financial resources necessary to purchase local goods. Between our role in the Double Up Food Bucks Heartland collaborative and the Senior Market Match coupons that are administered by Cultivate KC, each year we give out an average of $140,000 in incentives. This money not only creates more opportunities for low-resourced members of our community to shop at farmers markets, it also bolsters our local food economy.
This summer, we will go beyond providing incentives and address an even bigger issue—the lack of food retailers; specifically, the lack of food retailers in Eastern Wyandotte County. In partnership with Dotte Local Grocer, Cultivate KC will be operating the Dotte Mobile Grocer, a full-service grocery store on wheels. The vehicle, nicknamed “Dottie,” will make stops at 10-15 different locations each week and offer residents the opportunity to stock up on produce, meat, dairy, dry goods and even frozen items. Recognizing that the cost of groceries can often be as much of a barrier as getting to a store, we are committed to finding solutions to keep food affordable. Throughout the season, we will update you as we add payment options through various food assistance programs, including SNAP, Double Up Food Bucks, and WIC.
We are thrilled to be entering this partnership and it’s keeping us busy behind the scenes preparing the vehicle for its mid-summer launch. We hope that you will all come out to visit Dottie and her drivers once we hit the road!