Kraft, Feeding America
deliver fresh-food oasis
to nation’s ‘food deserts’
May 3, 2010 11:05 AM
More is being heard about the problem of “food deserts”—rural and urban communities where residents might not have access to a grocery store, emergency food assistance, or food of good nutritional balance. The Kraft Foods Foundation and the Feeding America hunger-relief organization have a solution that brings food to those who need it most: the Kraft Foods Mobile Pantry program.
This year, eight new “farmers’ markets on wheels” will hit the road in the second year of a three-year, $4.5 million commitment to Feeding America to provide up to 25 new mobile pantries to local food banks. The trucks help the local food bank increase their capacity and reach in communities where residents live as far as 120 miles from emergency food assistance—or even a grocery store.
Tony Vernon, president of Kraft Foods North America, said, “The trucks are a fresh-food oasis, helping reach those that might not have access to emergency assistance. With a mix of fresh fruits and vegetables, families have more options for good nutrition and balanced meals.”
These eight beverage-style refrigerated trucks deliver perishable and non-perishable food, including fresh fruits, vegetables, protein, and dairy products.
This year, the program is being rolled out in Auburn ME, Comstock Park MI, Elizabeth City NC, Erie PA, Irvine CA, Pembroke Park FL, Richmond VA, and Valdosta GA. In 2009, seven mobile pantries were donated in this first-of-its-kind national program.
Each truck will deliver nearly one million pounds of food a year. That’s more than 780,000 meals that will reach area residents.
Stops will be made at neighborhood food pantries, churches, or school parking lots an average of three times a week. Families and individuals are invited to select food as they would at a farmers’ market: produce like fresh lettuce, apples, green beans, and other meal-time staples such as Kraft macaroni and cheese, and Oscar Mayer meats.
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