File photo of the Downtown Farmer's Market.

The city of Long Beach is looking for bidders to operate mobile markets that will sell healthy food and fresh produce at or below the cost of retail stores in areas with poor food access.

Specific sites for the markets haven’t been picked yet, but they will likely be in North, Central and West Long Beach, according to Long Beach Health Department spokesperson Jennifer Rice Epstein. Those areas have historically lacked access to healthy food options and advocates have struggled for years to fill the gaps.

Long Beach is looking for operators who can run markets a minimum of four days a week, including weekends, with at least two locations per day and a minimum of two hours at each site. While the operators are responsible for planning and executing the project, the city will obtain and build out the vehicles designed to operate as mobile markets.

Anyone interested in submitting a bid must do so by Dec. 5 at 11 a.m. on the city’s portal. The city has up to $750,000 to award for the project, according to Rice Epstein.

The one-year contract is expected to run through Dec. 31, 2024, with the option to renew for one-year contracts up to three years based on performance and additional funds. It must be approved by the City Council or City Manager.

This project is one part of the city’s Racial and Reconciliation Initiative which was adopted in 2020 after the murder of George Floyd. It aims to “reconcile a gap in the experiences of impacted and vulnerable people with current City policies, especially the Black community.”

Funding for the project will come from the Long Beach Recovery Act, a COVID-19 recovery program that allocates local, state, and federal funds to programs addressing needs within the city post-pandemic.

Anyone interested in bidding for the contract can view the requirements here.