Serving fresh produce to neighborhoods in Knoxville

Pastor Chris Battle at Battlefield Farms is giving away produce in neighborhoods every Wednesday.
Published: Aug. 10, 2022 at 6:45 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 10, 2022 at 9:39 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - A Knoxville pastor is growing solutions to a food desert affecting his community. Chris Battle is a pastor, farmer, and now the owner of the Veggie Van.

The Veggie Van carries fresh produce like peppers, onions, peaches, okra, squash, zucchini, and apples. He rehabbed an old Emerald Youth van to bring the produce to people at Walter Hardy Park and Narrow Ridge. Battle said he’s starting to tackle the issue within the 37915 zipcode.

“The people I’m trying to reach may not have a phone or the internet, how can I get this food to them? Many lack transportation, living off of $20,000 per year or less. The produce they can get here takes a good bit of your check,” said Battle.

Battle sells his produce at the Knoxville Farmer’s Market and brings what they don’t sell to help fight the food disparities in East Knoxville.

“One of the gentlemen, I hear him say I haven’t eaten fresh produce for years and I said what and he said I haven’t eaten fresh produce for years and I said well now you can,” said Battle.

Food deserts are classified as urban areas where people have a hard time getting access to affordable, nutritious food.

The United States Department of Agriculture identified at least 20 food deserts in Knoxville with increased access to fast food restaurants but not to fresh and affordable food.

You can find out where they are delivering and what times on their Facebook Page.

Copyright 2022 WVLT. All rights reserved.