ROVING PRODUCE: Shelby Wild is launching the county's first-ever mobile farmers market in Lompoc on November 26. | Credit: Route One Farmers Market

Food access is a passion for Shelby Wild, founder of Lompoc’s Route One Farmers’ Market. Before launching the market in 2020, Wild was a garden teacher for the Lompoc Unified School District and Explore Ecology, educating youth on cultivation of food and food systems. 

“The literal and figurative roots of where our food comes from” informed the curriculum that she brought to her students, but that sentiment also motivates the market’s mission to support both people who grow food and people who need food. When a previous farmers’ market ceased operations in 2018, Wild earned a grant from the Lompoc Valley Community Healthcare Organization to meet the needs of the community with Route One, which features more than a dozen vendors every Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Vandenberg Village.

What better way to make farm-fresh food available to more people than to put it on wheels? On November 26, Route One will unveil the first mobile market vehicle in Santa Barbara County. Like the market, the truck will accept payment in the form of EBT, WIC, and Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition checks, putting nutritious foods into the kitchens of the underserved. 

“It is a newer solution that’s gaining traction within food access because of its ability to literally go down the street from where people live,” said Wild of the truck, which also serves as middleman between consumers and small-scale farmers who can’t sell to large stores like Albertsons or Trader Joe’s. 

Wild hopes that the mobile market will become a model for elsewhere in the county, particularly parts of Santa Maria and New Cuyama where access to fresh food is limited and EBT is not accepted as payment. She pledged, “We’re hoping to bring it as a solution county-wide.” 


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