Now You Can Buy Fresh Produce While Riding the Subway in Toronto

©. Laura Berman/GreenFuse Photos (used with permission)

New pop-up farmers' market stalls have just launched in select subway stations in Toronto, making it much easier access to healthy food.

Buying healthy fresh produce is now easier than ever in Toronto, thanks to new farmers’ market stands appearing in select subway stations. The project is called “Grab Some Good” and is a partnership between the Toronto Transit Commission, FoodShare, and the City of Toronto – an unusual combination of groups! The idea is to give commuters easier access to good food by branching out from the usual junk food-filled convenience stores and fast food places in and around subway stations.

The first of the pop-up food stands appeared at Downsview subway station last Thursday, May 26, and others will soon appear in Victoria Park and Kipling stations. These stations were chosen because they are located at the far ends of the subway lines and tend to be distant from sources of fresh food.

Toronto Public Health spokesperson Barbara Emmanuel says they want to "give everyone a chance to buy good food without having to make an additional stop or pay an additional fare." She adds, “When you look at other major cities, Toronto is way behind. Our commuters here have next to no options for good food on transit.” By comparison, commuters in South Korea have a fresh food market right on the train that allows people to shop while traveling. (MetroNews)

The CBC cites FoodShare executive director Debbie Field:

“‘Now people can buy an apple, an avocado, bananas, beets, coleslaw. All beautiful fresh fruit and vegetables. Some of them cut up and all at a great price.’ Field says the point is to get people to choose better snacks and dinner options.”

It does not appear that the food stalls prioritize the sale of local, seasonal produce, which would be ideal, but perhaps that will happen eventually. For now, better access to fresh produce of any kind is a significant improvement over the lack of healthy options that is currently available -- and people are happy about it!

The City of Toronto reports:

"Food plays a vital role in building healthy people, communities and cities. With millions of people using the TTC each day, Grab Some Good markets will provide important access points for nutritious and affordable food choices."

The food stalls will be open from 3 till 7 p.m. all year round -- Tuesdays and Thursdays at Downsview and Victoria Park, Wednesdays at Kipling station. Bring cash!