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Creating a Permit Program for Produce Cart Vendors

Encouraging healthy cart vending

Fact Sheet
Food & Beverages

Eating more fresh fruits and vegetables can help kids and families maintain healthy weight and prevent many chronic diseases.

Unfortunately, too many Americans—especially people of color, rural, and lower-income populations—live in “food deserts” that lack full-service supermarkets and grocery stores.In these food deserts, where only candy, chips, soda, and other junk foods are readily available, fresh “produce cart vendors” (like a produce stand on wheels!) can make a world of difference.

ChangeLab Solutions developed a Model Produce Cart Ordinance to create a streamlined permit program to make it easier for produce cart vendors to bring fresh, uncut fruits and vegetables from a mobile cart directly to a neighborhood. This fact sheet provides an overview of our model ordinance and also describes the many benefits of produce cart vending.

Produce cart vendors can travel deep into neighborhoods most in need of fresh produce, do not require large capital investments to start operations, and can adjust their inventory quickly to fit the unique cultural demands of a community. Communities that establish a permit program for produce cart vendors may also enjoy economic benefits in the form of increased small business opportunities, and neighborhood economic development and revitalization.