Real Good Mobile Food truck brings fresh and healthy food where it is needed most

R and G Family Grocer knows that there are still many parts of Tulsa that do not have substantial access to fresh fruit, vegetables or quality grocery stores. These food deserts are a very common problem all over Oklahoma.

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The R & G Mobile Food Pantry is on TCC’s Northeast Campus every Wednesday. The truck stays for one hour and a half then heads to other parts of Tulsa that need fresh food options.

The state is constantly ranked in the top-ten of “United States most obese states” and grocers and dietitians everywhere are on the front lines of the movement to provide healthy food.

The parts of town that need the most attention are the downtown and northern sides of Tulsa. With no major grocery store chains willing to build in these neighborhoods, the residents of the places either travel out of the way, or wait for guys like Scott Smith to come around parts of Tulsa that need help the most.

Smith runs the Real Good Food Mobile Food Pantry truck. Pulling a utility trailer behind his truck, Smith houses a multitude of grocery items. The trailer has been outfitted with two refrigerators so that residents can enjoy things like milk, yogurts, butter, and even ice cream.

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Purple whole peas, lettuce, red and green bell peppers, cucumber, garlic, tomatoes, and jalepenos were just some of the many fresh options that the mobile.

Every Wednesday the pantry stops by the Eastside parking lot of Tulsa Community College’s (TCC) Northeast Campus. This location is a great hub for students and surrounding residents to utilize the truck as his or her own grocery store.

Students are urged to try to prepared meals that the truck has to offer. Items like chicken salad sandwiches are usually the first to go. Smith says that on a weekly basis he has to make about 17 pounds of the chicken salad to keep up with demands.

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These are many items in the pantry that lend themselves to healthier food options Popular pre-prepared items in the pantry are the tuna salad sandwich with cantaloupe and coleslaw, a pulled pork sandwich with chips and hummus, chicken mushroom stroganoff, and a pineapple chutney trout with Asians grains and mixed veggies.

Smith says that he tries to hit areas that he knows have residents that might have a tough time getting to places with healthy food options. The truck stops by Crestview Senior Community every Wednesday afternoon.

When asked about the community’s favorite item in the pantry, Smith said that the prepared meals and fresh fruits and vegetables were at the top of the list.

            “People just do not have access to places that have [fruits and vegetables] available.”

The Mobile Food Pantry accepts SNAP EBT cards, Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program cards, and Osage WIC produce coupons. Be on the lookout for Smith and his truck to take advantage of this convenient opportunity.

 

Visit Tulsa Real Good Food’s website today for more information!

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3 Comments Add yours

  1. Aditya Meherish says:

    Hello,

    I am writing to you from Dubai, U.A.E. and I need your help to open up a similar grocery truck here.

    I read about your mission and would like to provide a similar service here in the rural areas of Dubai and U.A.E.

    I would really appreciate if you can help in regards to the size of the truck and how to start the business.

    I look forward to your reply.

    Thank you

    Like

    1. zachredwood says:

      Hello Aditya,
      I will get in contact with the owner of the food truck and forward your message to him. I will send you his response when I hear it!
      Zach Redwood

      Like

    2. zachredwood says:

      From Scott Smith, Owner of the Food Truck:

      There are a lot of moving parts to setting up a mobile grocery store. One of the primary considerations is the power supply to operate lighting, music, HVAC, refrigeration, and the cash register system. Our system runs at 7.5kW on an ambient temperature day. During summer months as our refrigeration struggles to keep cool and is further burdened with refrigerated air from the air conditioner, we have exceeded the maximum output of our generator unit.

      We chose a welder generator combination unit for the reliability of the machine. I figure if it can work all day, every day on a job site welding that it ought to serve as a suitable medium term power supply for our grocery store. We run ours about 60 hours per week. It’s peak output is 11kW. It currently has ~3000 hours of run time on it with no failures. I change the oil in its air cooled ending every 150 hours of operation. It is mounted separately on our hauling truck,

      We faced the choice of a trailer and haul vehicle or a motorized all in one unit. We felt that given the inevitability of mechanical breakdown, we would be better able to continue operation by borrowing or renting a replacement tow vehicle to continue operations than losing the whole store until repairs could be effected.

      Our trailer is a gooseneck style horse trailer. It has rubber lumber flooring and is 28 feet long on the floor. The overhead overhang adds about eight feet to the trailer length, but not the tow length. I began by removing the horse dividers (9 horses it held!) and power washing the interior. I removed the Windows, welded thin steel plate over the holes, and installed insulation. I routed electrical service to the points of use. We then put a washable, reflective surface in place on the walls and ceilings. Lighting was then installed and shelling units. Next we brought Ina two door display refrigerator and a two door display freezer unit. We built a counter space and installed a point of sale system.

      For the POS system, I would suggest using the Square point of sale application and associated hardware. It is free to use and their pricing is very competitive for hardware and credit card processing.
      I am unsure what more might be of interest in starting up a store. The reader is invited to visit our website: TulsaRealGoodFood.org to examine our schedule of service and study various programs we are implementing to bring holistic solutions to food insecurity.

      Thank you,
      Scott Smith

      http://www.tulsarealgoodfood.org

      Like

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