By Ukee Washington
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A new mobile farmers’ market has rolled into Chester County. Created by the non-profit Good Samaritan Shelter, it sells produce in areas where people might not be able to get it. It’s also helping homeless people get back on their feet.
Jon Termini gave us a tour inside the brand-new Nourish Mobile Market, a brightly-painted trailer with shelves of fruits and vegetables. “On the left side here, we have all our local produce, organic,” Jon said.
“It’s like an ice cream truck, but healthier,” said Morey White, a Nourish Mobile Market employee.
On this day, the trailer is parked next to the Phoenixville Area Senior Center.
Debbi Maffei of Phoenixville stopped in. “In a community like Phoenixville, it’s wonderful because not everyone has a car,” Debbi said.
“We are coming to them,” Jon said.
Jon was the first employee of Nourish Mobile Market. He’s also homeless.
“We have a cliché image of what homelessness is, that person in the subway that’s begging for money, something like that,” Jon said.
The Good Samaritan Shelter, based in Phoenixville, started the project specifically to provide jobs to people like Jon.
“Imagine a guy coming into a shelter and being at a low point in his life, and we’re able to provide him not just a safe place to live, but also with a job,” said Good Samaritan Shelter executive director Nate Hoffer.
Donations are paying salaries, starting at $12 an hour.
“We have four employees right now. We’re paying average of almost double minimum wage to build them up and get them back on the road to independence,” said Keith Misner, business manager of Nourish Mobile Market.
One employee, Morey White, said, “Face to face, I’ve always been kind of nervous, kind of shy. The great thing is that this moves out of my comfort zone.”
The trailer, complete with ramp, was custom-made, also paid for with about $100,000 in community donations.
Jon hopes to save enough money to get his own place, and give this job to the next person who needs a hand.
Right now, Nourish Mobile Market is on a campaign to raise $14,000. If they succeed — and they’re close — a foundation has promised to match it.
Find them on the web at www.NourishMobile.org