Meet Fresh Express! It's a retired Valley Metro bus that has been modified to deliver, not people, but fresh fruits and vegetables.
At first glance, you'll know this bus is like no other. And when the doors open, bus driver Leonard Sunday will greet you with a smile. "He connects with customers to create an open and inviting experience," says Ann Glaser, Public Information Specialist with Valley Metro.
Walking down the aisle, you'll feel like you're shopping in the cold section of the grocery store. From apples and avocados to potatoes and peppers, you will find fresh food at a low cost. Some items are priced as low as 50 cents.
Elyse Guidas, Executive Director of Fresh Express, describes it as being "a mobile produce market that goes into low-income, low-access areas, that sells really high-quality and affordable fresh fruits and vegetables."
We caught up with the Fresh Express at the Washington Manor on Monroe and 11th Street, as it delivered pounds of produce to costumers, such as Gloria Pays. Pays was excited to see the bus in her area of town. "It's wonderful," she says. "They have so much to offer."
The program began two years ago by Discovery Triangle, in partnership with Peddler's Son Produce, to deliver veggies to Valley residents in Tempe and Phoenix. The bus makes several stops each month, with plans to expand into other areas in the future. Route stops include schools, senior centers and other key community gathering places in under-served neighborhoods.