Growing High Point’s ‘Growdega’ brings food to those who need it

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HIGH POINT, N.C. — Growing High Point is continuing its fight against food insecurity by kicking off a new program. 

Multiple foundations, community groups and the City of High Point stepped up to convert a library bookmobile into the “Growdega.”

Willa Mays is the executive director of Growing High Point. 

Mays explained what a “Growdega” is.

“By bringing food into the communities, they have the opportunity to purchase fresh, healthy food.  It’s a great benefit,” Mays said.

“Growdega” is a takeoff of the Spanish word “Bodega.”

A bodega is a small family operated convenience store that sells food and household items. Growing High Point’s “Growdega” is on wheels and travels into some of High Point’s food deserts. 

Mays said a food desert is where someone has to walk more than a mile in order to buy fresh, healthy food. 

For some folks that live in food deserts, they rely on convenience stores which sometimes don’t sell healthy food.

“Everything is marked up,” Mays said. “Your money doesn’t go as far, and the availability of fresh produce doesn’t exist.”

Rev. Jonathan Pucik is the Director of The Friendship Table and one of the community partners involved with the “Growdega.”

Rev. Pucik explained why his organization is so excited about the new mobile market.

“We’ve been praying for these efforts but haven’t found a way to get involved,” Rev. Pucik said. “So we’ve been thankful. We’ve been not the church just on Sundays but Monday through Saturday as well.”   

On Monday, the “Growdega” was parked in front of a former grocery store. 

The bright green vehicle is filled with necessary food items like canned goods, dairy products and affordable fruits and vegetables. 

Doug Robinson was driving by when he saw mobile market. He stopped by and was impressed by the prices and what the “Growdega” had to offer. He left with several bags of apples, grapes and oranges.

“I think it’s easy,” Robinson said. “You don’t have to go in and be around a lot of people. It’s like a drive-thru.”

During the growing season, the “Growdega” will sell vegetables from community gardens.

The “Growdega” runs Monday through Friday. For the current schedule, go to Growing High Point’s Facebook page.

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