Columbia Organizations Bring Healthy Options to \'Food Deserts\'

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COLUMBIA - Organizers are hoping a new bus route will bring new faces to the Farmers Market, representatives with PedNet said Friday. 

The new route will begin on April 7th, as the second week of the Columbia Farmers' Market's summer season gets underway. The route is funded by a grant and was organized by a coalition between PedNet and the city. 

It is meant to serve those living in what the USDA has deemed, 'food deserts', or places where there is a large lack of access to fresh, healthy foods. The route is brand new this year, and starts running just before 8 a.m. when the market begins. It takes off from the market for its last loop just before close at 11:45 a.m. 

Many of those living in these food deserts also participate in another program, Access to Healthy Foods, that seeks to tackle the same issue. This program is in its second year and with the help of a state grant, the organizers at Sustainable Farms and Communities are hoping to serve around 100 people— twice as many as last year. 

For more information about the bus route click here, or to check out what health rankings look like for other counties around the state, click here