The New Roots Beet Mobile was unveiled Friday in the Portland neighborhood of west Louisville. | Photo by Darla Carter

This story has been updated.

A local nonprofit that works to increase access to fresh fruits and vegetables in underserved neighborhoods has a new ride, or at least what looks like a new ride, to help spread its message of food justice.

New Roots’ newly decorated Beet Mobile made its formal debut Friday in the Portland neighborhood, where employees of FMS Commercial Cleaning and others were receiving fresh produce at one of the group’s pop-up markets.

Before its makeover, the Beet Mobile “was very ugly,” New Roots Executive Director Karyn Moskowitz said. “It was like half yellow and half green, but it fit our purpose. It was affordable, and it was big enough to transport all of our tents, tables, chairs, containers … everything we need to operate a Fresh Stop Market.” | Photo by Darla Carter

The vehicle’s new look is a result of a creative partnership with Heine Brothers’ Coffee, Zimmer-Design, Premier Fleet Graphics and QtheAgency that resulted in a design makeover of the truck that would have cost $10,000 if the work had not been donated.

“I am a big fan” of New Roots Executive Director Karyn Moskowitz, said Mike Mays, co-founder and president of Heine Brothers, in an email. “I love what she has brought to our community with the Fresh Stop Markets.”

Mays noticed that the truck, which used to be a homely half yellow and half green, needed some tender loving care while volunteering at the Shawnee Fresh Stop Market.

“Karyn said it was the Beet Mobile and I asked her where the Beet was,” Mays said. Moskowitz then said something like, “We haven’t had the time or the money to get it logo-ed yet!” so Mays reached out to Zimmer-Design and Premier to help.

“All of us came together to create this beautiful design that would not only serve to transport our materials” to the Fresh Stop Markets, Moskowitz said, “but to spread joy and happiness.”

People already have been taking selfies with the truck, which is now emblazoned with drawings of fruits, vegetables, a rainbow, a smiley face and other happy motifs.

“It’s become quite a star on social media and we hope it will continue because what it says on the back is our tag line of fresh food is a basic human right, so we’ve proclaimed that and all of our efforts flow from that,” she said.

Join Insider Louisville for a community conversation on food insecurity, food access and healthy eating on Oct. 23.

Darla Carter is a hometown girl who recently joined the staff of Insider Louisville to mostly cover health. She previously served as a longtime health and fitness writer for The Courier-Journal, where she also worked for the Metro, Neighborhoods and Features departments. Prior to that, the award-winning journalist wrote for newspapers elsewhere in Kentucky and Tennessee, covering a range of topics, from education to courts. She's a graduate of Western Kentucky University, where she studied journalism and philosophy, and is the proud mom of two young children.


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