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WILX News 10

JACKSON, Mich. (WILX) – Residents in the Southside of Jackson struggle to get their groceries – that part of the city is known as a food desert. Food deserts are typically in low-income neighborhoods where residents have limited access to grocery stores or markets.

Jackson Area Transportation Authority is trying to fix the issue by giving Jackson residents a chance to get a free bus ride to and from the grocery store.

“The shopping program in our area is good to have,” said Fleming.

Curtis Fleming’s family relies on the JATA Shop & Ride Program. He said his mom and family friend uses the service all the time.

To qualify for the free bus ticket, show your grocery receipt to the cashier at Kroger and Polly’s Farm Markets.

”They don’t have to take their car to go to the grocery store they can jump on the bus go to the store, spend the dollars, and catch the bus back home for free,” said Michael Brown.

JATA Executive Director Michael Brown said all residents have to do is spend $20 at the grocery store to get the free tickets.

“We don’t take the food to the people we take the people to the food,” said Michael Brown.

JATA Dispatcher Sherrill Brown said during her time working she has gotten to know a lot of the riders using the program.

“A lot of them rely on it for employment to get back and forth to their jobs and things like that,” said Sherrill Brown.

Fleming said that JATA is there whenever he or his mom needs their service, especially coming home from the grocery store. Riding the bus with her free ticket providing for her family.

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