Chatham Area Transit bus card program connects riders with affordable, healthy food options

Community

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Chatham Area Transit riders now have a new opportunity to find local, affordable healthy food options throughout Chatham County.

Bus cards have been installed in all 62 Chatham Area Transit buses featuring a QR code that, when read by a smartphone camera, instantly connects riders with nearby healthy food options.

“The idea behind the bus card program it to create a way to support the nutrition destinations we’ve been approaching through the REACH grant,” said Armand Turner, Physical Activity Program Manager for the REACH program.

Some of those nutrition destinations include nearby farmers markets, mobile farm trucks, and local corner stores.

The project is funded by the YMCA of Coastal Georgia and Healthy Savannah, through grant money awarded by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s REACH (Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health) program in 2018.

“A lot of the times the population that we’re looking to work with, the low-wealth African American population which so often can get overlooked and not receive the resources we need, in order for us to all to be healthier,” added Turner.

The purpose of the REACH program is to eliminate disparities in health outcomes based on race and income in Savannah.

“This is a way we can promote opportunities for people to be healthy by scanning this QR code and allowing people to get easily accessible food options,” said Eric Curl, Communications Manager at Chatham Area Transit.

The REACH initiative will be tracking feedback behind the bus card program and hopes to expand it in the future.

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