It’s pretty quiet at 7 a.m. as Dan Clarke steers a white painted school bus through the back roads of Jamaica Plain. Emp­tied of the seats that once trans­ported chil­dren, the bus has been retro­fitted with a row of bas­kets mounted on one side and a long shelf on the other. It is now Fresh Truck, a mobile market that brings pro­duce and whole grains to neigh­bor­hoods across the city that are most severely affected by lack of food access, the greatest per­centage of which are low income.

Clarke and Josh Trautwein, recent North­eastern Uni­ver­sity grads, started the com­pany in April 2012 but did not get the bus on the road until July. They spent their ramp-​​up time raising money and building part­ner­ships with health cen­ters, schools, and other com­mu­nity orga­ni­za­tions. Now they’re on the road daily from early morning till sundown.

The first stop this morning — and every morning — is Crop Circle Kitchen, a shared com­mis­sary where Fresh Truck stores pro­duce left at the end of the day that is too good to com­post or throw out. “We try to min­i­mize the amount we carry overnight because we want it to be as fresh as pos­sible,” Clarke says. On a recent Wednesday, Annie Feldman, who has been working with Clarke and Trautwein, is in the bus with Clarke when it makes this stop. The two pull out a mul­ti­level rack and pick through the stash, loading every­thing that’s still good onto the bus.

Read the article at The Boston Globe →