Striving to connect local farmers and locally grown produce with the Huntington community, The Wild Ramp began Mobile Market, a food truck expansion to the store that brings produce to the community.
“The Mobile Market extends The Wild Ramp into the community, making it easier to have access to local, healthy food,” Devyn Messinger, an employee and regular consumer at The Wild Ramp, said. “This year we’ve added more locations where the Mobile Market will be.”
The store began as a capstone project for a few Marshall University students, but as it has done seven years of business, The Wild Ramp is running its second year of the Mobile Market.
“We are a year-round, non-profit farmers market that partners with over 100 local farmers and producers,” Messinger said. “We give back 80% of the profits to the farmers.”
In addition to the Mobile Market, there are other programs initiated to educate and give access to fresh, locally produced foods. A program called SNAP Stretch involves the whole family in the process of buying produce and
makes it more available to people in the community.
“Basically, we match every dollar spent using SNAP benefits,” Messinger said. “We also give the kids tokens they can use to buy fresh fruits and vegetables.”
Messinger said they do this to encourage kids to shop local and eat healthy.
“When they feel like they are a part of the food buying process it makes them more excited to eat it,” Messinger said.
The Wild Ramp offers a variety of locally produced
food, such as vegetables, fruit, honey, jams and meats.
“All of our products come from within 215 miles; 75% of it comes from within 50 miles of the store,” Messinger said. “It’s a good way for farmers to sell their products year-round.”
The Wild Ramp also offers a variety of classes to educate those in the community. From tractor safety classes to cooking classes, where they only use produce that can be found in their store, The Wild Ramp wants to help people discover a healthy, fresh, local grocery option, Messinger said.
“We want to build a relationship with people in the community; our classes allow us to do that in addition to running the other programs,” Messinger said. “We want to be the bridge between producers and consumers, and I think we do that.”
Michaela Crittenden can be contacted at [email protected]