Two women in front of the Veggie Van with food in bags.

The Veggie Van - A Mobile Marketplace is a program supported by Florida Blue and works to meet the needs of individuals and families in Hillsborough and East Pasco counties. It delivers fresh and nutritious food twice a month to those living in food deserts - neighborhoods without ready access to fresh, healthy and affordable food.

Susan Towler, Executive Director at the Florida Blue Foundation shares:

"Our support of the Tampa YMCA Veggie Van will help food insecure seniors in the Tampa Bay community have access to health food and nutrition education. The partnership will help remove the physical and financial barriers that many seniors face in having access to fresh fruits and vegetables. The twice-a-month visits also provide socialization for the seniors for whom loneliness is often a cause for concern."

Mr. Al Bulduc has been visiting the Veggie Van for five months now. Thanks to the program, he has tried new vegetables.

"The Veggie Van is wonderful! I appreciate it. I normally wouldn't have tried a cabbage, or bought it, but I did from the Veggie Van. Glad I did!"

Celebrating our Hero Who is Fighting Food Insecurity

Leading the Veggie Van's heroic efforts is Elizabeth Roman, our Senior Director of Mobile Programs. Elizabeth has been with the Tampa Y for the last eight years.

in 2022, Elizabeth served fresh and nutritious food from the Veggie Van to over 39,000 children, families and seniors in Tampa Bay food deserts.

She was recently recognized by Y-USA as one of the 2023 Anti-Hunger All-Stars. The Anti-Hunger All-Star of Fame recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to alleviating food insecurity throughout their communities.

Elizabeth shares, "Being presented this award is a tremendous honor for me. It signifies that the work we do to combat hunger and improve food access in our community is making a meaningful impact. This recognition reflects not just my efforts but the collective dedication of the Tampa YMCA and the communities we serve. It is a reminder that when we come together with a shared purpose, we can achieve remarkable outcomes in the fight against hunger."

We are proud to have Elizabeth working to end hunger in our community! You can learn more about the Veggie Van program and support those in need today!

Published October 10, 2023