Architecture students, BWC unveil Mobile Market trailer

“This project was part of a service-learning initiative that we have been doing since the beginning trying to help the community, and our students were fully engaged with it,” TSC Architecture Instructor Dr. Murad Abusalim said. “We’re looking to continue to do projects like these in the future and adapt the projects to our curriculum.”

“The Mobile Market trailer is part of an ongoing partnership with the Brownsville Wellness Coalition,” he added. “We have worked together in the past on community gardens around the Brownsville. A common factor among the projects that we have been involved with is that little by little, project by project, we try to solve issues of food deserts and food-related problems like obesity and diabetes.”

The Mobile Market trailer was a semester-long service learning project that the architecture students started at the beginning of the Fall 2015 semester.

“It was an amazing project that I was able to participate in from research to construction,” TSC architecture student Celia Padilla said. “It was a lot of hard work, but I’m really glad I did this. I had never done something like this before. I spent a lot of time on the project and the experience will help me a lot in the future.”

Working with a $7,500 budget provided by the BWC, the students researched, designed and built the Mobile Market trailer to benefit residents in low-income food deserts located around Brownsville.

Food deserts are usually located in impoverished areas that lack fresh fruits, vegetables and other healthy whole foods due to the lack of access to grocery stores, farmers’ markets or healthy food providers, according to the USDA.

“We have so many food deserts in the Brownsville area,” BWC Executive Director Melissa Delgado said. “Our community has low income and low transportation, so a lot of people can’t get to a store or market that has fresh fruits and vegetables easily. The Mobile Market project that TSC students completed will bring healthy food choices directly to our highest risk population and will make it affordable so we can help our community get healthier.”

“We have a high rate of diabetes and obesity in our area and we can help by bringing healthy food to disadvantaged areas that may not have access to fruits and vegetables,” added TSC architecture student Cecilia Rodríguez. “Just thinking about the impact this can have on the community has been exciting, and a great experience.”

About Texas Southmost College
Originally established in 1926, Texas Southmost College offers the first two years toward a bachelor’s degree, along with career and technical education, college preparatory studies to prepare students for college-level work, workforce training, and continuing education. Recently selected as a Bright Spot by the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics, TSC offers 53 programs of study leading to an associate degree or certificate.