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Delights of fresh produce

PUBLISHED: 10:11 18 September 2008 | UPDATED: 21:18 05 July 2010

Children in the Yarmouth and Waveney area are tucking into the new delights of aubergines, leeks, pineapples and plums.

The new tasty trends are thanks to an innovative health drive involving a van and wholesale prices for fruit and vegetables.

Children in the Yarmouth and Waveney area are tucking into the new delights of aubergines, leeks, pineapples and plums.

The new tasty trends are thanks to an innovative health drive involving a van and wholesale prices for fruit and vegetables.

Yesterday saw mothers queuing up in Gorleston and Yarmouth to buy cabbages, potatoes, kiwi fruits and bananas from a mobile food store.

The well stocked van is believed to the first of its kind in the country and is on the front line in the fight to increase the region's health.

From Monday the van has been selling wholesale priced fresh goods as part of a Yarmouth and Waveney Primary Care Trust(PCT) campaign to make sure that people in deprived areas eat five portions of fruit and vegetables a day.

Figures show that only 35pc of people in the Yarmouth and Waveney areas get enough fruit and vegetables and large parts of the community have lower life expectancy then other parts of the region.

So far about 140 people have enjoyed the opportunity to fill up their shopping bags with healthy food from the van, which is manned by community health trainers from Community Connections(Yarmouth).

Prices include 88p for a melon, four kgs of potatoes for £1.76, 71p for a large cucumber and 70p for a kilo of oranges.

The van, which will visit several sites a week in the area, is also helping hard up families cope with soaring food bills and the credit crunch.

Surprisingly the successful mobile food store has had another unusual knock on effect with aubergines, plums, leeks and pineapples proving to be the most popular buys.

Lynn Pope, 23, was one of the first people to shop at the van which was parked at the Seagull Centre in Gorleston yesterday afternoon.

She said: “A lot of the shops around here a pretty expensive. My children love their greens so coming here to get a better price is a great idea.”

The van is funded by the PCT and is operated by Community Connections(Yarmouth), which helps to empower the population.

Wholesalers McCarthys of Norwich provides all the stock.

Helen Crowe, Community Connections manager, said: “The response so far has been absolutely fantastic and I think people are showing an interest in some fruits and vegetables they may not normally even consider buying.”

Sarah Barnes, PCT health improvement practitioner, said: “All the evidence shows that only low numbers of people are having the recommended five portions of fruit and vegetables every day.

“We are hoping that this project will contribute towards improving this situation.

“This is only one of a myriad of projects that the PCT is currently investing in to improve the health and well-being of Yarmouth and Waveney.”

To find out more information on the weekly mobile food store and what locations it visits call 01493 656372

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