Food deserts are defined as (typically low-income) areas that lack easily accessible whole foods like fresh fruits and vegetables. Across the United States, 42.2 million Americans experience food insecurity — including 13.1 million children. Without proper access to fresh, healthy foods, people living in these “food deserts” rely instead on convenience stores and fast-food to feed their families.
A common misconception is that a nutritious lifestyle is out of their financial reach. However, the price of eating excessively salty, sugary, and processed food is actually much higher both for their wallets and health. This is why our goal at Kanbe’s Markets is to provide communities with access to fresh fruit and vegetables.
We connect convenience stores in Kansas City with wholesalers while also delivering and stocking the fresh food. By delivering and stocking the fresh produce, we can keep costs and barrier to entry low for both the shopkeepers and their customer. Making it as easy as possible to bring fresh produce to the 19% of residents in Jackson County alone who are currently experiencing food insecurity.
Forty percent of the food in America goes uneaten, most of which ends up in dumpsters, and landfills. Kanbe’s Markets partners with grocers and food wholesalers to collect and redistribute this excess amount of food around the Kansas City area. Neighborhood convenience stores already play trusted roles in the routines of these communities. By helping local businesses purchase and stock fresh produce, we can place these foods within physical and financial reach for families currently living in a food desert
Come find us
We are currently delivering fresh produce to six Food Marts in Kansas City:
- Food Mart, 8025 Hickman Mills Drive, Kansas City, MO 64132
- Food Mart, 4511 E. Truman Road, Kansas City, MO 64127
- Food Mart, 2101 E. 39th Street, Kansas City, MO 64109
- Food Mart, 4501 Cleveland Ave., Kansas City, MO 64130
- Food Mart, 5901 Troost Ave., Kansas City, MO 64110
- Food Mart, 8505 Woodland Ave., Kansas City, MO 64131
"Pull up a chair. Take a taste. Come join us. Life is so endlessly delicious."
Ruth Reichl | Chef, Food Writer, and Advocate
Our Past, Present, and Future
Kanbe's Markets began making deliveries of fresh produce to the Ivanhoe neighborhood in 2016 — a predominantly low-income African American neighborhood on the east side of Kansas City. Partnering with C & C Produce, we were able to deliver over 2,500 pounds of fresh produce to The Cakery Bread and Bakery Outlet in just a couple months. In this collaboration, we bolstered sales at The Cakery by 20%.
Eight additional store partnerships are planned for the coming year, all of them serving the food deserts of the east side. New relationships are being established with wholesalers, supermarkets, and local farming alliances to meet the needs of these partners. We are also excited for our education and outreach collaborations with various area community leaders, hospitals, schools, and non-profits.
We are funded through the grants of health organizations and generous contributions from individual donors. Even the smallest donation makes a difference!