MARTA GM/CEO Keith Parker.

MARTA GM/CEO Keith Parker.

The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) will open fresh produce kiosks at four rail stations beginning next week.

The markets provide a convenient shopping alternative for fresh, affordable, and locally grown produce. Representatives from MARTA and various partnering organizations will be on hand for the annual kick-off celebration on Tuesday, May 2.

“We realize that all communities don’t have adequate access to fresh and affordable produce,” said MARTA GM/CEO Keith Parker. “For us, the Fresh MARTA Market is an opportunity to help bridge that gap while promoting healthy meal choices.”

Since its debut in 2015, the Fresh MARTA Market has continued to grow and now serves four rail stations. This year, the Atlanta Community Food bank will conduct screenings at three stations for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the Childcare and Parent Services programs (CAPS), which offers childcare subsidies to some of Georgia’s neediest families.

According to Feeding America’s Hunger in America 2014 study, more than 300,000 residents within MARTA’s service area lack reliable access to sufficient quantities of affordable, nutritious food. “The Fresh MARTA Market provides competitively priced, locally grown produce all within a transit accessible location,” said Parker. “We have seen tremendous success from our Fresh MARTA Markets thus far as we continue to grow this program with this help of our tremendous partners and vendors.”

The markets are managed in partnership with the Community Farmers Market, Atlanta Community Food Bank/Food Oasis-Atlanta, South West Atlanta Growers (SWAG) Cooperative, and Organix Matters. Customers can purchase goods using cash, credit, debit, or EBT.

Customers will also find new “fresh value” stands, which offer a variety of prepared items including salads, breads, baked goods, and additional products grown and sourced locally. “These additional vendors provide on-the-go, healthy options for our MARTA customers,” Parker said.

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