ymca representatives stand in front of Tampa Y Veggie Van

Since Jan. 17, the YMCA Learning Garden in Sulphur Springs has been providing continuous organic bounty to the Y’s Veggie Van.

To celebrate five years of nourishing families, the Tampa YMCA’s Veggie Van – A Mobile Market Place is growing in various ways to meet community demand. 

One of the most exciting new elements is receiving fresh bounty from the YMCA Learning Garden in Sulphur Springs. On January 17, passionate gardeners loaded up the Veggie Van with new produce from the garden’s first harvest. 

The fresh, healthy produce included more unique ingredients like kale, bok choy and Chinese broccoli. “I am really thankful for this opportunity to share fresh organic produce straight from our backyard with our families,” says Mobile Food Market Director Elizabeth Roman. “I look forward to our growing community partnerships and to moving the needle toward ending hunger for all!”

The Y’s Veggie Van stops in the communities of Tampa Heights, Sulphur Springs, Plant City, Dover, TGH Healthpark in Tampa, Wimauma and Lacoochee in Pasco County. Each of these locations has a demonstrated need for nutritional wellness. 

For the low cost of $4 a month, participants can join the Veggie Van and pick out fresh fruits and veggies twice a month. Community food distributions take place the first and third weeks on every month. 

The Y’s goal is to improve the overall well-being of Veggie Van participants and their families. In addition to providing produce, Y staff and volunteers work with families to improve food preparation, cooking and exercise habits to help minimize the risk of obesity, chronic disease and high blood pressure. 

By working side-by-side, the Tampa Y’s Veggie Van and YMCA Learning Garden in Sulphur Springs will improve the health of the entire Tampa Bay community. To learn more, contact sulphurspringsgarden@tampaymca.org.