In a Montreal neighbourhood once considered a COVID-19 hot spot, mobile testing units have since been replaced by a mobile market.
A non-profit organization, called Pari Saint-Michel, is working to make fresh food available at an affordable price, using an old school bus to deliver fruits and vegetables to the community.
The mobile market is Pape Dione’s latest project.
“We’re going to have here all the fruits and vegetables,” Dione explained in an interview with CTV News.
Dione opened up a food stand four years ago in the Saint-Michel neighbourhood, which is home to a large immigrant population. But he says not all those living in the area could easily make their way to the concession.
“Saint-Michel is like a desert. We have a lack of shops, you have one maxi, we don’t have many shops where people can go and get fresh vegetables and fresh fruits,” Dione said.
“We don’t have many [buses], we just have one metro, and some people have problems to move,” he added.
He says this gave him the idea to transform an old school bus into a market on wheels so he could sell Quebec-made food products through its windows.
“This one is $3,” he said, showing off a jar of pickles.
Some of the non-profit’s produce comes from a greenhouse set up in the yard of a local high school. Dione has also partnered with nearby farms and businesses to help the community’s economy amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“If they can’t come to us, we’re going to go see them,” Dione said.
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