Results from the initial pilot and support from a range of partners allowed UNC to secure funding to work with several partners (including CNP) to expand the VV program to 4 counties in North Carolina. As part of the team effort (called the Green Cart Project) the university convened a group of food focused nonprofits, local food aggregators and the previously mentioned produce home delivery business to plan for the expansion.
Our initial plan was to have a different partner run a version of a mobile market program in each county; however, we found it difficult for non-profit partners who were not already running a mobile market to add a new program to their portfolio. In the end, CNP ended up running VV in 3 counties rather than have a new organization take on the program.
We found that the best plan for food sourcing was to have the local food aggregators sell directly to our home delivery partner. They packed their regular boxes each week and VV purchased them at cost. They also donated a portion of their profits and member donations to help support the VV program.
"We found that the best plan for food sourcing was to have the local food aggregators sell directly to our home delivery partner."
In order to allow VV to continue through the winter (when the home delivery company was closed), CNP purchased directly from the local aggregators and packed their own boxes. As costs were higher (due to lower purchasing power and the additional cost of packing), they also sold some full-price boxes to university staff and select other local workplaces. Profits from these sales subsidized VV program and allowed us to continue offering reduced cost boxes year-round.