January 6, 2021 , 4:07 am

Nikki Fried visits Mexico Beach to address issue of food insecurity- Florida agricultural Commissioner

Before Hurricane Michael, there was a need for food resources in Mexico Beach. Two years later that need continues as the city rebuilds. Thursday, Florida’s Agriculture Commissioner, Nikki Fried, paid a visit to the city to see it for herself. Fried has made a few trips to Mexico Beach since the storm, but she said this one feels different. “So now coming back and being able to see the vitality and the rebuilding of this community is such an inspiration but of course being able to see that there still needs to be more help,” Fried said. Several homes and businesses were flattened in Mexico Beach following Hurricane Michael. One of those businesses was the city’s sole grocery store – leaving the city without a source of fresh food for miles. This changed back in March though when the “Mexico Beach Market” opened. Fried said the progress in the city is inspirational and she is excited to see they now have a small market where residents can get nutritional food in town. She said more people around the state of Florida should use creative ideas like this market to help solve the problem. “They can come up with different ideas like the market and try to find fresh produce because it’s not just access to food it is healthy nutritional food,” Fried said. The market was the main stop on Fried’s visit. She was able to get to know the market’s co-owner, Marc Rice, as well as hear the background behind the business. “We knew we needed a market and when we get in there you’ll see that’s just what it is is a cute little market,” Rice said. Step inside the market and you will see all the essentials – it may not be big but it has lots of heart. “We don’t know what we are doing but we do know that we want to treat others like we want to be treated and make it an experience and we will basically do whatever it takes to get them what they need,” Rice said. Fried said there are three million Floridians who do not know where their next meal will come from – 850 thousand of those people are kids. She said it is places like the Mexico Beach Market that are vital to stopping food insecurity across Florida.
Tags
community
food resources
fresh food
fresh produce
nutritional food

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