They rotate the freshest produce in Richmond’s food deserts

Richmond, Virginia – Liz Duckett’s heart and soul rest on two wheels. She stores her specially designed refrigerated trailer like the produce section of a supermarket.

“We’re on demand, so we don’t pre-pack anything,” Liz explained.

Liz came up with the idea a few years ago and it continues to work.

“Right now, our biggest success is with the mobile product store,” Liz said.

A small space dedicated to a big task. “So now we open both doors and put people on each end,” Liz described.

The Women of Chesterfield is World Up: a non-profit organization that provides access to life-improving resources.

“With carrots like that, we’d probably give two or three because they’re so huge,” said Liz.

You deliver vegetables and fruits to so-called food deserts across Richmond about six times a month.

We don’t just feed people. “We reduce the burden of having to choose between paying the bill and buying food,” Lis said.

On this particular day, Mobile Produce Pantry opens a shop on the north side of town, where the demand is high.

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“This definitely gives more health benefits in the long run,” Liz said.

What makes this pantry special, is that every item is at no cost.

“We give the products for free,” Liz said. “I would say most people donate. We don’t ask for it and we don’t ask for it.”

Liz and her team of volunteers said it’s essential that people have access to healthy foods.

“There is no bad way to start your day if you are feeding and helping people get food,” Liz said.

Last year, she and her organization helped about 500 families eat better.

“We’re here. We’re here to be an essential component of the community and I don’t expect us to be going anywhere anytime soon.

World Up is collaborating with Feed More.

“It’s overwhelming and sometimes surprising. Without our partners, we wouldn’t have done it. Without our donors, we wouldn’t have done it,” Liz said.

Rodrigo Arreaza with Feed More described Liz’s efforts and partnership as invaluable.

“World Up joined Feed More as a partner in 2019. They are our first mobile partner,” Rodrigo said. “Again, having a resource like this showing up in your niche makes it very handy and easily accessible. It really is indispensable.”

Liz said that no one should go without getting fresh produce.

“Access to food should not be a problem. I guess it would be the best day ever if we didn’t need to exist right? Liz said. “These communities get seasonal produce.”

This year, the World Up Foundation plans to open a physical location to expand its mission. Until then, Liz Dukette will keep going by filling stomachs with nutritious foods and filling hearts with love.

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It’s not the food, it’s the people. It’s gratitude, life, and starting the weekend knowing you’ve done something that makes a difference,” said Liz. “What’s the point of living if it doesn’t make a difference, in my opinion at least.”

World Up’s Mobile Pantry is set up about six times each month across Richmond. If you would like to find their site or donate to the cause, click here.

If you know someone who is Hero Among Us, email me heroes@wtvr.com

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