By Candelora Versace
The vision was simple but profound: eliminate so-called food deserts by bringing healthy, affordable and sustainable food to the people who need it most. With the nearest full-service grocery store almost a 60- to 100-mile round-trip, residents of Santo Domingo, like other food deserts, often choose the easier—and cheaper—solution for meals: convenience stores and fast-food. The fall-out? Well-documented epidemics of obesity, diabetes, high-blood pressure and heart disease.
Now accustomed to twice weekly stops from MoGro, Santo Domino residents have welcomed the Santa Fe-based company. "We are averaging 70 to 80 customers per day, and 40 to 50 percent of the purchases are fresh produce," said Rick Schnieders, owner and chief visionary of MoGro. "Canned goods are less popular. Flour, yeast, baking powder—those are good movers. Sugar and salt? Not so much."
Below: "Lavern Coriz of the Santo Domingo Pueblo shops for fresh fruit on July 7 at the pueblo. The fresh fruit, among other local and sustainable foods, was made available for residents to purchase through MoGro, a mobile grocery truck, which began making stops on the pueblo in April." (Clyde Mueller/The New Mexican)