Mark Lilly, Owner, Farm to Family
I built a micro farmers market on a school bus targeting food deserts, schools and senior homes. We are about 3 years into the project. I bought the bus and built/designed the interior and exterior, built relationships with local organic farms to get their products to market. We educate the community about local sustainable foods. Our goal is to have a FarmBus in every community in the country that will be a resource people can utilize to know where their food comes from, educate themselves, support local farmers, eat healthier and to create a sustainable community based food distribution system that will be set in place (a pro active measure) when the old (current) toxic unsustainable food system fails. I am also a Veteran that wants to help other veterans with this project. I am concerned about PTSD and want to use my Farmbus as therapy, job placement and community support for military bases and their families. I want to get good food on our military bases and educate the children (and adults) through our Farmbus project. I want to motivate-touch-move-and inspire as many people as I can reach! If I can’t reach them all I want to teach others (through this model) how to do it! I currently have one bus on the road in the Richmond area, and have 5 buses ready to develop. I would like to place at least one more bus in Richmond, but also move into other markets.
We feel that we have impacted thousands of people not only in our community but all over the world thru food and education. Many people have been inspired to replicate the FarmBus by following the simple and highly effective model. Others have been inspired to either change old habits, promote a local sustainable food system, put priorities in place and called them into action. We have directly introduced better food into our community, supported our local farmers and educated our youth about local food-where it comes from and how it tastes! We feel that we are also part of the growing movement that seeks to dismantle social injustice and unite people of all colors through food and culture. People have told us they are growing gardens, building compost, cooking at home with family and friends, and learning to can, freeze and dry food to become food secure. People are using food to promote good health. I visit senior homes too and they get a big charge out of seeing the bus, the food, having a good old fashioned conversation. It’s good therapy.