Hummus samples offered at a Mobile Market event

Author: Emily Menshew

At Second Harvest, our primary goal is to get healthy food onto the tables of people facing hunger. The Mobile Market program is one of the key ways we achieve this, allowing us to bring food directly to communities with identifiable need. We are able to move an impressive amount of fresh produce at these events roughly 40% of the total pounds of food distributed at our Mobile Markets is fresh produce.

As robust as our Mobile Market program is on its own, there is more to getting food onto people’s plates than just delivering fresh groceries. Some of the items may be unfamiliar to recipients, which can make it difficult for them to eat and enjoy the ingredients at home. That’s why nutrition education is integrated into Second Harvest’s mission, helping to nourish people who visit Mobile Markets, local food pantries or learn cooking skills in The Kitchen. 

During Mobile Market distributions, nutrition educators offer samples and printed recipes, as well as flyers for our free cooking classes. Prior to each event, nutrition educators select a recipe that incorporates one or more of the items available at the distribution that day. All of the recipes are also available on The Kitchen website. The goal is to provide recipients with the necessary tools to make nutritious meals for themselves and their families.

Samples and recipes offered at a Mobile Market event

We sometimes alter the recipe to include a key ingredient shared at the distribution. For example, when the produce boxes available at Mobile Markets included fresh leeks, we added leeks to our recipe for quick and easy chili. This was a great opportunity for us to talk to clients about modifying their favorite recipes to include ingredients they already have on hand.

Nutrition education allows us to address some key factors other than food access that may impact people’s experience with hunger. Having the chance to interact with the broader client base at Mobile Markets can help to improve our understanding of our clients’ needs and inform other nutrition education efforts.


To learn more about nutrition education resources, including free recipes and cooking classes, please visit

Feeding Eastern Washington and North Idaho

Copyright 2020 Second Harvest. All rights reserved.