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Hospitals in Atlantic City, New Jersey turn to mobile groceries in absence of supermarkets

Atlantic City, a seaside resort known for its bustling gambling industry, is facing a key issue: the absence of a supermarket. Residents of Atlantic City are struggling to access affordable and healthy food, with limited options for grocery shopping. A plan to build the city’s first supermarket in nearly 20 years recently fell through, leaving the community in a food desert. In response, the state and a hospital system have introduced a temporary solution: a converted school bus that brings fresh food and produce to the city’s impoverished neighborhoods.

Virtua Health’s “Eat Well” program aims to address the lack of access to healthy food in economically deprived areas. The transit bus, which offers high-quality food at discounted prices, has been well-received by residents who have limited options for grocery shopping. The program is designed to provide dignity and convenience to communities, and there are no income restrictions for participation.

The absence of a supermarket in Atlantic City has caused significant hardship for its residents, who have had to resort to expensive and inconvenient methods of obtaining groceries, such as traveling long distances or shopping in poorly stocked corner stores. The failed supermarket project, which was meant to receive substantial public funding, has left the community without a much-needed resource.

The introduction of the food bus, funded by the state and operated by Virtua Health, has provided a lifeline for residents who struggle to access affordable and fresh food. The program is part of a larger effort to address food insecurity in New Jersey and is being well-received by those who rely on it. As the community grapples with the absence of a supermarket, initiatives like the food bus are providing essential support to residents in need.

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