Mobile produce market to pick up the slack at site of closed Tempe grocery store
PHOENIX – A mobile market near Arizona State University in Tempe will soon temporarily provide affordable fresh food shopping in place of a grocery store that closed last fall, officials said.
Nonprofit Farm Express Mobile Market will set up every other Tuesday starting next week in the parking lot of what had been a Food City at Apache Boulevard and McClintock Drive.
Hours at that site will be from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. on March 8 and March 22.
“If it really is a big hit with the residents in the adjacent areas, I’m fairly confident this is going to continue for quite for some time,” Mayor Corey Woods told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Thursday.
Fresh, affordable fruits/veggies are coming to the former Food City site, 1338 E. Apache Blvd. March 8, 2:30-3:30 p.m. First 40 shoppers receive a $5 coupon to use at the market; all shoppers get 2 free apples. Next visit March 22. Info: https://t.co/mv9Z4cULei @FarmExpress pic.twitter.com/IOYUXHEun4
— City of Tempe, AZ (@Tempegov) March 4, 2022
Farm Express’ fleet operates locally in Phoenix and Tempe.
Pricing will be similar to what shoppers were paying at Food City, which closed in early October.
Woods said he and council members were contacted by residents concerned about the loss of the grocery store and becoming a “food desert.”
The city bought the Pollack Apache Center for $10.6 million at the end of last year with plans to bring back an affordable grocery store, other retail and housing of up to 300 units.
“But projects of that magnitude take time to really get right. In the interim there still was the issue of not having the fresh produce option in that area,” Woods said.
“It was paramount that we actually provided a grocery option as soon as possible and we’re really excited to be partnering with Farm Express on this venture.”
The market will also make stops on March 8 and 22 at:
- Encore on Farmer, 601 S. Farmer, 9:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m.
- Mountain Park Health Center, 1840 E. Broadway Road, 11 a.m.-noon
- Tempe Public Library, 3500 S. Rural Road, 1 p.m.-2 p.m.
The market will accept cash, SNAP, EBT, debit and credit. Shoppers who use their SNAP or EBT cards are eligible for a buy one, get one free deal.
KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Taylor Tasler contributed to this report.