AT THE BEGINNING OF 2017
In response to the growing issue of food deserts in Broome County, CHOW® began renovations to turn the original CHOW® Bus into a mobile grocery store. Existing structures such as seating and partitions were removed from the bus leaving behind nothing but the driver’s seat. Once all racking and compartments were installed, refrigerators and freezers were added to give customers access to frozen meats and dairy products. Specialized racking was installed on the passenger side of the bus for a full sized produce section as well as compartments for backup inventory. Two rooftop heating and air-conditioning units were installed to allow for comfortable, year round markets. The addition of a second staircase on the passenger side allows for a smooth flow of customers and safe entry and exit. A new paint job was then applied to the inside and outside of the bus to give it a friendly and upbeat look. Currently, CHOW® and its partners are only able to meet 60% of the food needs in Broome County. The CHOW Bus Mobile Grocery Store hopes to have an impact on the gap by providing access to an affordable grocery store to rural areas and urban food deserts. Chronic health issues such as diabetes and obesity will be addressed by the presence of healthier, nutrient dense foods like fresh produce and other perishable items on the CHOW® Bus that corner stores often lack.