Food insecurity, food accessibility, and food deserts have generated national concern as social justice issues. To combat these injustices, groups from across North America have created mobile food markets. A modern-day mobile market established in West Oakland, California in 2003 helped to spur the mobile food movement (Albala 2015). Shortly thereafter, the idea of bringing affordable and healthy food to low-income communities took off across North America. Typically, mobile markets use repurposed or retrofitted vehicles to distribute culturally appropriate, farm-fresh products to low-income, low-food-access neighborhoods (Bartley & Best 2013) and promote healthier food choices (Zepeda & Reznickova 2013). Many provide subsidies to make fresh food more affordable, which increases food accessibility and food security for those in need. Recent academic research suggests that increased access to fresh vegetables and fruits has been linked to an increase in vegetable and fruit consumption in food deserts (University of Wisconsin 2015; Widener et al. 2013). Though some mobile markets aim to improve health outcomes by providing communities with healthy food, others seek to address food and economic sustainability by expanding the market for food that is grown and distributed within a metropolitan area.

Read the Report


Camille Charles is an undergraduate double majoring in Public Health and French Literacy Studies at Rutgers University. She is a passionate and committed individual who focuses on health education and advocacy on the Rutgers New Brunswick campuses, including the Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. Her advocacy includes health education about drug usage, sexual health and LGBTQ social issues. After traveling to Honduras and shadowing physicians, Camille realized that public health was her niche. From that moment, she has experienced learning from both inside and outside the classroom. She hopes to become an obstetrician-gynecologist. She prides herself to work for causes that influence perceptions of the world.

Naweed Karimi

Sarah Lin is a Rutgers Presidential Scholar majoring in Planning and Public Policy and minoring in Political Science, Education, and Psychology. As a junior, her on-campus involvement includes assistant directing a House Committee at Rutgers Model Congress, conducting research at the Center on Violence Against Women and Children as a Gardner Fellow in Leadership and Social Policy, working as a Scarlet Ambassador for the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, previously teaching an accredited course as a FIGS peer instructor, and serving on the leadership teams of Rutgers International Justice Mission, RUnited campus ministry, and Chinese Christian Fellowship. Off-campus, she currently serves on IJM’s National Student Leadership Team, interns on the Legislative Committee of the NJ Coalition Against Human Trafficking, and works as a policy intern for the NY Asian Women’s Center. Last summer, Sarah interned at the U.S. Department of Education, and this summer she’ll be studying at Princeton University as a Public Policy and International Affairs Fellow.

Ananyasri Thiriveedhi is a senior majoring in Public Health at the Bloustein school and minoring in Biological Sciences. She is a member of the public health national honor society Eta Sigma Gamma and the sorority Kappa Phi Gamma. She has served as treasurer on the executive board of Kappa Phi Gamma Sorority, Inc. Ananya has been a volunteer tutor for the CAST program through Youth Empowerment Services, which is an after school program for elementary school and middle school students in New Brunswick, NJ. In the summer of 2017, she studied abroad in Thailand where she analyzed human health and public health issues in the city of Bangkok. Ananya has also conducted research on the effects of the compound curcumin on breast cancer cells at Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey. Ananya founded the organization Finding Your Voice, which strives to help elementary school children overcome their fear of public speaking and donates all proceeds to Sankara Eye Foundation. She is a volunteer EMT, medical scribe, a suicide hotline volunteer, and is planning to become an osteopathic doctor in the future.

Anjanette Vaidya (she/hers) is a double major in Geography and Africana studies. After failing out of Rutgers as a young single mother, Anjanette returned to seek her degree in Fall 2015 and founded Rutgers Students with Children, an on-campus group of scholars and feminists who champion educational equity and seek to transform higher education to enable greater access, and later a nonprofit, Honor Your Mamas. She is now a speaker, activist, and advocate for teen parents’ achievement and ability and hosts workshops for pregnant and parenting teens in local high schools, as well as anti-bias workshops for educators and birth workers. She completed a 25 pg. research paper on how universities exclude young single mothers of color, and became the only undergraduate to present at an academic conference held at UNC Chapel Hill in NC. Her paper won the top award for Research writing here at Rutgers in 2017, and was offered publication in a special issue of Gender Place and Culture. She has spoken on two-generational policies that can support student parents at a policymakers forum at The Aspen Institute in CO, a Racial Equity forum in D.C, and the 13th Annual Student Parent Support Symposium, and has met with NJ state legislators to work for state-wide institution of support programming. Anjanette also works as a community doula, seeking to improve birth outcomes among oppressed groups of women, and has presented her research on the impact of stigma on perinatal outcomes at the Decolonize Birth Conference in Brooklyn, and most recently at a convening in Newark where she gave the Keynote address for Black Maternal Health Week. Because of her own life experiences, Anjanette is fiercely committed to justice for women of color, including teens, who are often disproportionately affected by intergenerational poverty, institutionalized racism, and domestic and structural violence. She will graduate summa cum laude, class of 2018.