TED Trolley makes first trip to grocery

Promise Zone initiative helps ease food desert

TED Trolley makes first trip to grocery

EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) - You heard it here first, and now it is happening. Evansville’s TED Trolley made its first grocery run Tuesday, picking up people at Garfield Commons and taking them to Ruler Foods.

We rode the trolley, and the level of excitement and appreciation for this new service was very high. People told us about their shopping struggles while living in a virtual “food desert.”

For some, the stakes are especially high with kids to feed. What started as a dream is now a reality for the Promise Zone helping a community in crisis.

“We don’t have a store close so we can’t walk you know anymore from either Diamond or over here to Buy Low, so it’s just a very great opportunity for us because we get everything we need, and we get a ride, and we don’t have to worry about asking anybody to help us,” says rider Kaylee Ricketts.

What has Ricketts been doing to get to the store?

“I’ve been asking my parents. I’ve been asking friends. Sometimes I have to walk to the gas station and get like a gallon of milk and it can be like four or five dollars,” says Ricketts.

Not only does the pilot program provide transportation but access to items with more affordable prices.

“Some milk, a two-liter, bread, lunch meat you know little things, but probably some meats too," says Ricketts.

These are a few of the items on the list for this single mom of two. She and the other riders had one hour to fill their donated reusable bags with what they need.

“We don’t have to worry, and that’s just a blessing because worrying about how you’re going to get to the grocery store, worrying about how you’re going to feed your kids... It’s hard,” says Ricketts.

Thanks to TED, Ricketts has one less stress in caring for her kids.

“I can wake up and be like, oh here, I can make you breakfast instead of, oh let’s walk to the gas station,” says Ricketts.

After the first trip Tuesday, organizers talked with passengers about what worked well and what could be improved. They plan to work out those kinks and set another grocery run in a couple of weeks.

It is a story we are following.

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