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Beet Box Brings Fresh Produce To Communities In Need

The Goshen Market Foundation has expanded its Beet Box route to include Collinsville on Monday, July 13. From 3-4 p.m. every Monday the truck will be in the parking lot  next to the CHS baseball varsity baseball field at Woodland Park behind the public housing apartments.

The Beet Box is a mobile farmer’s market that was created in partnership with students and faculty from SIUE and has been visiting neighborhoods, schools and community centers lacking access to fresh produce as a result of transportation, limitations, health issues, or food-desert conditions for three years.

Last year the Beet Box served 1,100 people. Each week, the Box delivers a variety of fresh produce donated by the farmers who participate in the Goshen Farmer’s Market on Saturdays in Edwardsville on Saturday mornings grown within 100 miles and is mostly chemical free, the garden at Anderson Hospital, and St. John’s Mission Garden, as well as Goshen Market Foundation’s own garden.

The Beet Box accepts senior bucks, WIC and farmers market coupons and also has “pay what you can pricing. Senior bucks and WIC vouchers are available at the Madison County Health Department and local senior centers for those that qualify.

Candice Watson, the manager of the Goshen Market and one of the Beet Box drivers said the Beet Box was finally able to hit the road safely on June 2, but had to stop their community routes for about two weeks due to the truck breaking down and needing repairs.

Jessica DeSpain, president of the Goshen Market Foundation, said they are now trying to establish routes in Alton by working with Senior Service Plus. They are also looking for a driver for this route.

In addition to  fresh produce, the Beet Box is also giving out STEM kits for kids to take home since the SIUE STEM Center, one of the Beet Box’s sponsors,  has been unable to run their kids programs out in the communties this year due to COVID-19.

The schedule for the Beet Box is Woodland Park in Collinsville from 3-4 p.m. and the Fairmont City Public Library from 4-5:30 p.m. on Mondays, Niedringhaus United Methodist Church from 10 a.m. until noon and Madison Soup-N-Share from 12.30-1L30 p.m. on Wednesdays and the Glen Carbon Cottonwood Family Church on Thursdays from 4-6 p.m.

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